'Essex Boys' killer released from prison to live in Suffolk
- Credit: Johnny Green/PA
'We can all get on with our lives now' - these were the words of John Whomes today after his brother Jack, jailed over the 'Essex Boys' murders, was released from prison to live in Suffolk,
Jack Whomes was sentenced in 1998, alongside Michael Steele, for the murders of three men found shot dead in a Range Rover in Rettendon, Essex, in 1995.
Prosecutors said the killings of Tony Tucker, Pat Tate, and Craig Rolfe took place after a row over a drug deal. The case later inspired the 2000 film, Essex Boys.
The 59-year-old former mechanic, formerly from Brockford, is now living with his mother in Suffolk and intends to keep fighting to clear his name according to his family having served his 23-year jail term.
Brother John Whomes, who lives in Mendlesham, said: "After the 23 years of hard work, Jack has now been released.
"Obviously the fight will carry on to clear his name. I'm glad he's home now with his mother.
"Most of all I am glad the final outcome will be that the people who made the books and films about him will be proved wrong.
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"We can all get on with our lives now."
Whomes was handed a life sentence with a minimum of 25 years for the crime, but has maintained his innocence throughout — the sentence was then reduced by two years in 2018 after the High Court ruled he had made "exceptional progress" in jail.
He is still waiting on a Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) decision, after it was revealed in 2018 the independent body was reviewing new evidence related to the case after a fresh appeal was launched.
This is the fourth time the case has been reviewed.
Whomes first became eligible for parole last May and a board spokesman said: "Parole Board decisions are solely focused on what risk a prisoner could represent to the public if released and whether that risk is manageable in the community.
"The panel carefully examined a whole range of evidence, including details of the original crime, and any evidence of behaviour change, as well as understood the harm done and impact the crime has had on the victims."