Notorious ‘Essex Boys’ killer Jack Whomes will be released from prison

A convicted ‘Essex Boys’ murderer is set to be released from prison after serving a reduced life sentence of 22 years.

Jack Whomes, 59, and his accomplice Michael Steele, now 76, were jailed in 1998 over the gangland shooting of three men who were found dead in a Range Rover near a farm in Rettendon, Essex, in 1995. 

Patrick Tate, 37, Anthony Tucker, 38, and Craig Rolfe, 26, were gunned down with a pump-action shotgun in December 1995 in what is believed to have been a row over drugs. 

In 2018, Whomes, who has continued to launch a series of legal bids to clear his name, saw his 25-year sentence reduced by two years due to his ‘exemplary behaviour’. 

He has now cleared for release following a Parole Board hearing earlier this month.

Jack Whomes, 59, who was  jailed in 1998 over the shooting of three men, has now cleared for release following a Parole Board hearing earlier this month

Jack Whomes, 59, who was  jailed in 1998 over the shooting of three men, has now cleared for release following a Parole Board hearing earlier this month

Jack Whomes, 59, who was  jailed in 1998 over the shooting of three men, has now cleared for release following a Parole Board hearing earlier this month

Michael Steele, 76, (left) was convicted alongside Whomes (right) for the same triple murder. Pictured in 2006

Michael Steele, 76, (left) was convicted alongside Whomes (right) for the same triple murder. Pictured in 2006

Michael Steele, 76, (left) was convicted alongside Whomes (right) for the same triple murder. Pictured in 2006

A summary of the decision reads: ‘After considering the circumstances of his offending, the progress made while in custody and the evidence presented at the hearing, the panel was satisfied that Mr Whomes was suitable for release.’  

It adds: ‘The panel heard that Mr Whomes maintains that he did not commit the Index Offences and as a result little or no work had been completed to address offending behaviour.

‘Mr Whomes had completed work to explore victim empathy and had developed his education and employment skills.’  

Whiles will have to follow strict licence conditions which ban him from visiting the relatives of the victims and will have to inform the authorities of any driving he does.  

He will also have to report to his probation officer for meetings.

Patrick Tate, 37, Anthony Tucker, 38, and Craig Rolfe, 26, were gunned down with a pump-action shotgun in December 1995 after their vehicle was ambushed.

The bloodbath scene of the triple murder of the three men down a snow-covered farm track in the small village of Rettendon inspired the 2000 Essex Boys movie, starring Sean Bean.

Whomes and Michael Steel were convicted after evidence, which was then lost, was given by their self-professed getaway driver Darren Nicholls. 

Patrick Tate, Anthony Tucker and Craig Rolfe (from left to right) were all found shot dead in a Range Rover on an isolated farm track at Rettendon, Essex in December 1995

Patrick Tate, Anthony Tucker and Craig Rolfe (from left to right) were all found shot dead in a Range Rover on an isolated farm track at Rettendon, Essex in December 1995

Patrick Tate, Anthony Tucker and Craig Rolfe (from left to right) were all found shot dead in a Range Rover on an isolated farm track at Rettendon, Essex in December 1995

After being scrutinised for 30 hours, detectives realised the tape recording Nicholls’ questioning had stopped recording.

This lead Whomes and Steel’s lawyers to claim the get-away story was fabricated and both the convicted murders continued to maintain they were not responsible for the Essex Boys murders.  

Another gangster, London-based Billy Jasper, later came forward admitting he had been paid £5,000 to take the killer to the scene of the murder – but was never charged. 

Link hienalouca.com

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