Man convicted for ‘Essex Boys’ murder has sentence cut by a year

Jack Whomes' sentence has been cut Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Jack Whomes' sentence has been cut Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

Jack Whomes from Brockford was jailed for life in 1998 alongside Michael Steele from Great Bentley in Essex for shooting drug dealers Tony Tucker, Pat Tate and Craig Rolfe in 1995.

Whomes’ accomplice, Michael Steele, lured the trio to the country lane and ordered Whomes to carry out the triple shooting.

The killers were jailed for life at the Old Bailey in January 1998 and Whomes was ordered to serve a minimum of 25 years.

Mrs Justice Cheema-Grugg today cut that by a year, so that Whomes can apply for parole in 2020.

A High Court judge ruled that Whomes, 57, deserves to be rewarded for the “exceptional progress” he has made.

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Although it was “a dreadful crime”, the judge said Whomes had “demonstrated exceptional progress” in prison.

Since being locked up, Whomes had not once been trouble with the prison authorities.

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And, after teaching himself to read and write, he has achieved an impressive list of academic qualifications and work skills.

Never displaying any violence or aggression, he had won a commendation for coming to a prison officer’s aid when he was assaulted.

He did so despite the risk of other inmates seeking retribution against him, said the judge.

He had been repeatedly praised by the Prison Review Board for his “consistently calm and mature behaviour, self-education and dignified way.”

Whomes had taken on the role of an induction orderly, supporting new inmates.

Prison authorities were unanimous in saying he deserved recognition for his “unusual degree of progress” in custody.

Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb cut Whomes’ minimum sentence to 24 years, also giving him credit for 617 days he served on remand.

Whomes’ solicitor, David Wells, said: “Jack Whomes has continued to deny any involvement in the offences for which he was convicted.

Mr Wells said despite the amount of time Whomes has been in prison, that he remained “a model inmate.”

“It’s only right, just and fair that his exceptional progress throughout his time in prison has been recognised,” added Mr Wells.

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