Brother of convicted Essex Boys killer speaks following innocent claims

Michael Steele (left), of Great Bentley, and Jack Whomes, of Brockford, jailed for the 1995 killing

Michael Steele, 76, (left) was convicted alongside Jack Whomes (right) for the 1995 murders - Credit: PA

The brother of a man found guilty of the 'Essex Boys' murders has spoken out after a former gangster made claims that his father was the real killer. 

Steve ‘Nipper’ Ellis made the claims that the pair convicted of the 1995 murders - Jack Whomes and Michael Steele - were innocent during an online question and answer session. 

Pat Tate, Tony Tucker and Craig Rolfe were all shot dead while sat in a Range Rover near a farm in Rettendon. 

Whomes, now 57, and Steele, now 76, were convicted after evidence was given by 'supergrass' Darren Nicholls. 

Ellis, 55, claims the trio were shot by his father Sid, who died four years ago, after threats were made to their family. 

MORE: 20 years since Essex Boys murders 

Speaking in the video, Ellis said the gang threatened to cut off his sister's finger before claiming: "The people in prison are innocent, they didn’t do it.”

The triple murder case inspired the film Essex Boys, starring Sean Bean, which was released in 2000. 

Pat Tate (left) and, Tony Tucker

Pat Tate (left) and, Tony Tucker - Credit: PA

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Speaking to this newspaper, Jack Whomes' brother John Whomes, who lives in Mendlesham, near Stowmarket, said: "It could have come out sooner.

"I know his dad's only been dead four years but it could have come out sooner so we could do something with it. Jack's at the end of his road now. 

"The only thing I would say about it is that it's made all the books and the films look bad. I'm glad it has made a mockery of those because some of them were quite damaging. 

"Because all those books and all those films came out as the true story, well obviously the true story has now come out. Let's hope the rest of it does. 

"We, as a family, need to get on with our lives, and even though something as powerful as this has come out, let's see what the police do with it."

It is understood that Jack Whomes' case is to be put to the parole board within months after several delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

His 25-year sentence was reduced by two years in 2018 due to 'exemplary behaviour'. Steele is not up for parole, it is understood. 

The murders reported by the East Anglian Daily Times. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

The murders reported by the East Anglian Daily Times. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

A spokesman from Essex Police said: "There was an exhaustive police investigation, and following the trial and convictions, the evidence has been further examined by the Criminal Cases Review Commission and the Court of Appeal.

"We have fully cooperated with the CCRC and continue to do so."

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