Search

Killer loses lap top appeal

PUBLISHED: 07:05 23 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:53 03 March 2010

A TOP security prisoner involved in one of Britain's most notorious gangland murders — later turned into the film Essex Boys starring Sean Bean — has won praise and sympathy from a High Court judge when he used a high-tech video link in his legal battle for access to a computer.

A TOP security prisoner involved in one of Britain's most notorious gangland murders — later turned into the film Essex Boys starring Sean Bean — has won praise and sympathy from a High Court judge when he used a high-tech video link in his legal battle for access to a computer.

Category A "high escape risk" Jack Whomes, who is serving three life sentences for shooting dead three drug barons in a Range Rover in the Essex countryside, stated his case on a video screen at the High Court in London from prison.

Whomes, 39, who is held at Whitemoor prison, Cambridgeshire, described to a judge how he could not even write his address when he was jailed with known drug importer Mick Steele, 58, in January 1998, for killing gangsters Pat Tate, Tony Tucker and Craig Rolfe.

The car mechanic and insurance fraudster said he had done "exceptionally well" in woodwork and technical drawing and wanted to use a lap-top computer with AutoCad 2000 software to further his education.

Whomes asked Mr Justice Collins for permission to seek judicial review of a decision of the Directorate of High Security Prisons, which rejected his computer request last November "for security reasons".

The judge refused the application, saying the prison decision was neither unfair nor irrational. But he added: "You have obviously done exceptionally well. I have some sympathy for you. It is obviously desirable in the interests of everyone that you should be able to educate yourself.

"I sincerely hope (the prison authorities) will do all they can to assist. I am certainly giving them every encouragement to do it."

Whomes strenuously denies taking part in the killings in a country lane at Rettendon, Essex, when the drug barons were repeatedly shot in the head at close range on a snowy December morning in 1995.

The Criminal Cases Review Commission is considering whether to refer the case back to the Court of Appeal.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Ipswich Star

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists