Murder UK is a site dedicated to documenting and investigating murder in the UK. We aim to be precise with facts and avoid speculation. If however you find discrepancies please  Contact us







A - Z index







Essex Boys Murders Range Rover Murders


Kill Total: 1

Kill date:


Kill Place:

Retrtendon,. Essex




Drug Deralers
Victim: Tony Tucker
Craig Rolfe
Pat Tate





The Old Bailey
Case No:  


Mr Justice Hidden






External References

The story of one of ganglands most famous case was made into a film,, "Essex Boys" staring actor Sean Bean


November 1995, A very famous case that made headlines the world over. That of Leah Betts. She had brought and died after taking ecstasy. The relevance to this case is that the drug had been purchased from the drug gang led by Tony Tucker.


6th December 1995,  Tucker, Rolfe, and Tate were drug dealers, this night the were shot dead in their range rover in a quiet lane in Essex.

The following morning the scene was discovered by local farmer Peter Theobald. 

What follows is an attempt to publish the truth, there are confessions and lies, and telling who did what is near impossible.


January 1996, Fellow gang member Darren Nicholls confesses to being the getaway driver and names Steele and Whomes as the killers., Nicholls was charged by the police with importing cannabis, but in lieu of turning Queen's evidence, he walked free.


Also in January 1996 East end gangster Billy Japsper was arrested for armed robbery, he too confessed to being the getaway driver. Police never believed Jasper, he was not charged in connection with the murders.


May 1996, Michael Steele & Jack Whomes are charged with murder.


January 1998, Steele and Whomes are convicted of murder at the Old Bailey in London. Nicholls claimed he was unaware of why he was driving and what the purpose of the trip was.


September 2000, Steele and Whomes  case referred to the Criminal Cases review commission. Steele's solicitor claim that the testimony of Nicholls is unsafe and therefore there is no case.


2006, Judges rejected an appeal by Steele and Whomes who still protest their innocence, claiming they were set up, this being a miscarriage of justice.


November 2007, Solicitor Chris Bowen reporting to the  criminal cases review claimed he had new evidence that "Would blow the case apart".




2015, a new appeal is rejected, the Criminal Cases Review Commission refused to send Steele's case back to the Court of Appeal


January 2016,  The High Court upholds the CCRC decision.




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