ESSEX BOYS MURDERS: Convicted triple killer Jack Whomes finally freed after 23 years in jail


CONVICTED Essex Boys triple Killer Jack Whomes has been released from prison after serving 23 years in jail.

Whomes, who has always maintained he is innocent of the notorious murders, has moved in with his mother aged in her 80s.He is living under strict licence conditions following release including living at the designated address and reporting to a supervisor, while having restrictions on electronic devices, vehicles and associates.

Whomes, 59, (pictured above) was one of two men convicted over the Essex Boys triple gangland murders in December 1995 that have become the subject of a string of movies.

He was jailed in December 1998 with Michael Steele, 76, for the murders of drug dealers Pat Tate, 37, Tony Tucker, 38, and Craig Rolfe, 26, whose bullet riddled bodies were found in a Range Rover parked on a farm track at Rettendon, near Basildon, Essex.

Steele has also protested his innocence. Whomes' brother John, 58, said: “Jack is finally back with his mum, which is what they have always wanted, so we are over the moon.

“But the fight to clear his name goes on and I am sure we are going to do it this time.”

Whomes, was described as a model prisoner after gaining a number of qualifications in jail.

After a Parole Board hearing in January, the panel said he was suitable for release subject to strict conditions, as exclusively revealed by Essex News and Investigations.

He had been working as a mechanic in Ipswich on day release from open prison before the coronavirus pandemic and will continue in the job.

DEAD: Left to right Tate, Rolfe and Tucker (Essex Police)

On January 20 1998, Whomes received three mandatory life sentences following the convictions for the murders.

He was 35 years old at the time of the offences.

Whomes first became eligible to be considered for release on May 13 2020.

Whomes and Steele were jailed on the evidence of supergrass Darren Nicholls who told the Old Bailey he acted as getaway driver for the pair, who he said lured the victims to the scene on the pretence of discussing drugs.

They have always insisted their innocence and no forensic evidence linked them to the murder, but mobile phone site cell evidence was also relied upon.

Earlier this month we told how a team of former murder detectives claimed the wrong men may have been jailed over the murders.

The former Met Police investigators, including one who arrested Nicholls on suspicion of drug importation before he agreed to act for the prosecution, claims to have found evidence that supports the statements of another alleged getaway driver who named different killers four months before Nicholls gave his account.

In December 2019 Steele failed in a bid to be moved to an open prison, but claimed at his parole hearing "police corruption" was responsible for his "wrongful conviction."

The pair made their fourth application to the Criminal Case Review Commission (CCRC), to refer the convictions back to the Court of Appeal on grounds of "new evidence," in May 2018.

A CCRC spokesman said: "Mr Steele and Mr Whomes have applied to the CCRC a number of times. On the first applications we referred their convictions to the Court of Appeal in 2002, but their convictions were upheld in 2004.

"Their current fourth application arrived in May of 2018 and their case is still under review."