'Essex Boys' murders: Michael Steele's third appeal fails

Jack Whomes and Michael Steele Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Jack Whomes and Michael Steele were jailed in 1998

A murderer involved in the "Essex Boys" gangland killings, has failed in his third bid to challenge the decision not to review his case.

Drug dealers Craig Rolfe, Tony Tucker and Pat Tate were shot dead in a Range Rover in Rettendon on 6 December 1995.

Jack Whomes and Michael Steele were jailed for life for their murders.

Last year the Criminal Cases Review Commission refused to send Steele's case back to the Court of Appeal. The High Court has now backed the decision.

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Image caption Craig Rolfe, Tony Tucker and Pat Tate were all shot in the head

Mr Justice Rose ruled the Commission had not made any legal errors in coming to its decision on Steele's case.

He said the Commission had "previously considered and rejected" Steele's case and to reinvestigate could be considered a "misuse" of its "limited resources".

Steele, of Great Bentley, and Whomes, of Brockford, Suffolk, were found guilty of killings in 1998 following a trial at the Old Bailey, but have always protested their innocence.

It became known as the "Essex Boys" murders, particularly after a 2000 film of the same name starring Sean Bean.

The three murdered men, all career criminals, were ambushed over an unsellable consignment of cannabis.

Two appeals, in 2006 and 2013, have already been turned down in the courts.

Image copyright Granada Films
Image caption Essex Boys, starring Sean Bean, was released by Granada Films in 2000

The Essex Boys on film

  • Essex Boys (2000)
  • Rise of the Foot Soldier (2007) and Rise of the Foot Soldier II (2015)
  • Bonded by Blood (2010) and Bonded by Blood 2 (2015)
  • The Fall of the Essex Boys (2013)
  • Essex Boys: Retribution (2013)
  • Essex Boys: Law of Survival (2015)
  • The Hit (2015)

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