Page last updated at 16:17 GMT, Friday, 28 November 2008

Jury warned on Rhys trial 'lies'

Rhys Jones
Rhys Jones died after he was shot in a pub car park

Crucial evidence used in the Rhys Jones trial has produced nothing more than a "web of lies", a jury at Liverpool Crown Court has been told.

Evidence obtained using bugging devices in the homes of two defendants cannot be trusted because it is contradicted by the facts, the defence counsel said.

Peter Woodall questioned the integrity of those speaking on the recordings.

Sean Mercer, 18, of Good Shepherd Close, Croxteth, denies murdering the schoolboy on 22 August last year.

Also on trial accused of assisting an offender are James Yates, 20, of Dodman Road and Nathan Quinn, 18, of Wickett Close, both Croxteth; Gary Kays, 25, of Mallard Close and Melvin Coy, 24, of Abbeyfield Drive, both West Derby, Liverpool, along with Boy M, 16, and Boy K, 17, who cannot be named.

Boy K is also charged with possession of a firearm and ammunition. All the defendants deny all charges.

'People of truth?'

Mr Woodall said: "It is the probe that says Gary Kays and Melvin Coy drove the offenders away to destroy the clothing and wash Sean Mercer down with petrol.

"The problem with this probe is that it is based on the assumption that the information on it is true and accurate."

Mr Woodall added: "What do we know of the speaker? Are they a starting point of reliability? Are they people of truth? Are they people of integrity?"

Much of the detail revealed in the bugging devices, placed at the homes of James Yates and Boy M shortly after the murder, cannot be published for legal reasons.

Mr Woodall said those speaking on the probes had created a "web of lies".

He added that "not a single scrap of evidence" links Gary Kays to the Croxteth Crew - a gang whose targeting of the rival Strand Gang is alleged to have been behind the shooting of Rhys.

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