Killer refused bail

CONVICTED killer Jack Whomes has today been refused bail in the latest battle with his fight for freedom.Justice Forbes, sitting at London's Royal Courts of Justice, said the appeal against his triple life sentence was not yet advanced enough to warrant him being released.

CONVICTED killer Jack Whomes has today been refused bail in the latest battle with his fight for freedom.

Justice Forbes, sitting at London's Royal Courts of Justice, said the appeal against his triple life sentence was not yet advanced enough to warrant him being released.

Whomes, 44, of Brockford, was found guilty of the gangland murders of Patrick Tate, Tony Tucker and Craig Rolfe in a country lane in Rettendon, near Chelmsford, in December 1995.

He was convicted alongside Michael Steele, 62, of Great Bentley, at the Old Bailey in 1998.

But in December the Criminal Case Review Commission decided the case would be referred to the Court of Appeal, boosting Whomes' hopes of being released.

It said new evidence had emerged that "could affect the credibility of a key prosecution witness".

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His mother, Pam, speaking after today's hearing, said: "I'm disappointed but not really surprised because the legal team have said to me that it is unusual to get bail. It's not as if that's it though.

"Jack will definitely get out. There's no doubt about that. We've got so much new information. We will never stop and we will get there. I am confident now that we will definitely win."

She said she would be informing Jack of the news today and expected him to be "disappointed".

She added: "He has said to me many a battle is fought and lost before the war is won. He will be disappointed, I know he will, but I will go and see him on Thursday and we will have a good talk."

Mrs Whomes, 68, was heading a family contingent descending on the capital to support her son.

They planned to raise a banner outside the courts, in the Strand, highlighting injustices against him.

Whomes' and Steeles' conviction followed one of the longest and most expensive trials ever, lasting more than five months and costing £1.5million.

The prosecution claimed the three victims were shot dead following a dispute over a smuggled shipment of poor quality cannabis.

Much of the case hinged on the evidence of "supergrass" Darren Nicholls, which Whomes' lawyers claim is unreliable.

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