A FORMER gangster claims his father was responsible for the murder of the Essex Boys.
Pat Tate, Tony Tucker and Craig Rolfe were all shot dead while sat in a Range Rover in Rettendon in 1995.
Michael Steele – formerly of Great Bentley – and Jack Whomes were convicted of murder thee years later and sentenced to life in prison.
But former gangster Steve ‘Nipper’ Ellis has claimed the two men are innocent.
He instead has stated his father, Sid, carried out the murders after his family had been the subject of threats from the murdered trio.
In an online Q and A session, Ellis claims the gang had said they would cut off his sister’s fingers.
When asked who was responsible for the murders, Ellis said: “No, they haven’t got the right people in prison.
“The people in prison are innocent, they didn’t do it.”
Ellis then went on to claim his dad used his shotgun to carry out the shootings, adding “everyone knew” Steele and Whomes were innocent.
He continued: “I’m telling this story now because my dad is dead. He died four years ago and my dad wouldn’t care about me telling people.
“I remember him phoning me up that morning and he said ‘they’re dead, Pat, Tony and Craig, got them’.
“I just started crying, I thought he was going to get nicked.
“It wasn’t that I didn’t believe him or couldn’t believe it, but it wasn’t until that night I heard the radio that Pat, Craig and Tony were dead – like my dad had said.”
Essex Police says it is aware of the claims made by Ellis.
A spokesman added: “This case sits with the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) and while it remains with them we are unable to provide further comment so as not to prejudice any potential legal proceedings.
“We of course always fully cooperate with the CCRC. But any new evidence should be routed through the CCRC for their consideration.
“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.
“At this stage any new evidence must be submitted to the CCRC and we would therefore take our direction from them about any investigative action required.”