‘Essex Boys’ triple murder convictions to be challenged
The mother of a man convicted for the ‘Essex Boys’ murders vows she will continue fighting to clear his name – as it emerged his case is under review once again.
Jack Whomes, from Brockford, Suffolk, and Michael Steele, from Great Bentley, Essex, were convicted and jailed for life in 1998 for the murders of Essex drug barons Patrick Tate, Tony Tucker and Craig Rolfe.
Their bodies were discovered in a Land Rover along a farm track at Rettendon, near Chelmsford, in December 1995.
Both men have maintained their innocence throughout the years they have spent behind bars.
Yesterday, it emerged the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) is reviewing the evidence after a fresh appeal was launched.
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The new appeal is understood to centre around the testimony of a potential witness who claimed he had been paid to transport the real assassin to the farmland in Rettendon.
It is reported this evidence may now carry more weight following a leak of a secret Metropolitan Police report, called Operation Tiberius, connecting the case to a ‘ruthless organised crime syndicate’.
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Last night, Jack Whomes’ mother, Pam, said she would keep fighting to clear her son’s name.
“I am really hopeful about this one,” she said.
“I just hope we can get him out of prison while I’m still alive.
“The last 20 years have been a total nightmare.
“It is the last thing you think of at night and the first thing you think of in the morning.
“It never leaves you.
“If he comes out through the court of appeal that would be marvellous because his name will be cleared.
“It is going to be a long couple of years but we will never give up fighting for him.”
The sentence of Whomes was cut earlier this year from 25 to 22 years due to good behaviour and “exceptional progress”.
His parole date has now been moved to 2020.
His case had been brought to appeal in 2004 and then again in 2006 and 2015 but the decision was upheld by the court each time.
A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We are aware of this and will give it fullest consideration.
“We’ve got no further comment at this stage.”
A CCRC spokesman confirmed the case was under review.