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Last Updated: Friday, 8 February 2008, 19:03 GMT
Police 'confident' of Rhys charge
By Richard Bilton
BBC News, Croxteth, Liverpool

Rhys Jones
Rhys was killed as he walked through a pub car park

Police on Merseyside have told the BBC they are "confident" that charges will be brought following the murder of 11-year-old Rhys Jones.

The detective leading the investigation said progress was being made towards a "successful prosecution".

Twenty people have been held on suspicion of murder or conspiracy to murder. No-one has been charged.

Rhys was shot dead as he walked home from football practice in Croxteth Park, Liverpool, in August 2007.

Detective Chief Superintendent Dave Kelly, who is heading the inquiry, told the BBC: "We have a clear strategy for this investigation and we're determined to leave no stone unturned.

"We're confident with the progress we're making, and that we'll be able to progress towards charges and a successful prosecution - the timescale for which will be governed by the evidence."

Privately, officers say the public have provided a lot of information, but their focus remains on building a case that can go to court.

CCTV image
Police believe this image shows who killed Rhys Jones

Police have released a CCTV image of a hooded man who they believe is Rhys' killer - and many local people can name him.

"It's very frustrating actually, because everybody knows the name of the person," one woman told me.

Another admitted that "a lot" of local people have heard the name.

The name of the suspect has also been repeated time and time again across the internet, but the BBC cannot reveal it for legal reasons.

The person has been arrested in connection with Rhys' death, but not charged with any offences.

Regular patrols are undertaken in the Croxteth area, with police officers out in numbers taking part in operations to break up gangs and gun culture.

It was a bullet from a gang shooting which ricocheted off a car and hit and killed Rhys.

'Blown away'

When asked whether they had heard the rumours that the suspect had been named, a group of local teenagers all replied "yeah" - and that they had all heard the same name.

Asked why no-one had come forward and named him if everyone seemed to know him, one replied: "Because they'll get blown away as well."

"People are scared to name him", another teenager said, "because they know if they name him they'll get shot themselves."

Six months since the shooting, tributes continue to be left in the car park of the Fir Tree pub, where Rhys died.

The police operation is still looking for a breakthrough and the city has heard a name in a rumour.

It is still very hard for Rhys' family and friends, six months since he died.





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