Family confident over appeal

THE family of a man convicted of the triple murder of three Essex drug dealers are confident his case will be returned to the appeal courts.A decision on whether Jack Whomes and co-defendant Mick Steele are granted an appeal is expected to be announced by the Criminal Cases Review Committee in a matter of weeks.

By Danielle Nuttall

THE family of a man convicted of the triple murder of three Essex drug dealers are confident his case will be returned to the appeal courts.

A decision on whether Jack Whomes and co-defendant Mick Steele are granted an appeal is expected to be announced by the Criminal Cases Review Committee in a matter of weeks.

Whomes, 43, from Brockford, is serving a life sentence for the murder of drug dealers Tony Tucker, Pat Tate and Craig Rolfe in December 1995.


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The victims were discovered shot dead in a Range Rover parked in a quiet country lane in Rettendon, near Chelmsford.

Last night Whomes' brother John, from Gislingham, said: "We are convinced we are going back to the Court of Appeal. There is no way they can knock it back at all. We are 110% sure.

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"We are weeks away from an answer from the CCRC. Our legal team is talking about getting bail papers ready. Everyone is confident."

Last week Whomes was moved from Whitemoor prison in Cambridgeshire to Long Lartin in Worcestershire, angering his family who are now forced to travel four hours for visits.

It will also create problems for his legal team if the CCRC refers the case back to the Court of Appeal, Mr Whomes added.

"We don't understand why he has been moved. My brother was at Whitemoor for six years and was a model inmate and for some reason they just moved him to Long Lartin – nearly four hours drive away.

"My father is disabled so he is never going to be able to see him up there. We are annoyed about that.

"None of the prisons will give any answers and say they don't know the reasons why.

"The family is really annoyed with the situation because it's putting stress on my parents. They are old age pensioners and having to travel four hours away.

"Our whole legal team has asked why they moved him. The legal team need to go and see him but it's six hours for them from London."

Whomes and Steele were convicted almost entirely on the evidence of "supergrass" Darren Nicholls.

The family said new evidence had been exposed which seriously undermined Nicholls' credibility as well as tests on Whomes' mobile that appeared to support his alibi.

The CCRC has been investigating the case for two years.

A spokesman for the commission said last night: "The review is in the final stages and we would anticipate being in a position to make a decision in the near future."

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