Page last updated at 21:09 GMT, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 22:09 UK

Teenager charged with Rhys murder

Police and Crown Prosecution Service statements

A 17-year-old boy has been charged with the murder of 11-year-old Liverpool schoolboy Rhys Jones who was shot as he walked home from playing football.

Gary Kayes, 25, and Melvyn Coy, 24, both of Croxteth, and three youths, aged 15, 16 and 17, are charged with assisting an offender.

The 16-year-old has also been charged with possessing a firearm. They will appear before magistrates on Thursday.

Rhys was killed by a gunman on a bicycle in Croxteth Park in August.

Those charged will appear before Liverpool Magistrates' Court.

A total of 13 people were arrested on Tuesday and Wednesday in connection with the youngster's death.

Three people aged 54, 50 and 49, and a 16-year-old youth have been released on bail pending further inquiries. A 22-year-old man was also bailed on Tuesday night.

Evidence assessed

A 20-year-old man who was arrested earlier on Wednesday remains in custody. A 21-year-old woman has been released without charge.

Rhys Jones
Rhys was shot as he walked home from football practice

Det Supt Dave Kelly, leading the inquiry, said: "We have brought significant charges today. It has been a complicated inquiry which is reflected in the number of charges today.

"I would personally like to thank Stephen and Melanie Jones for their support and patience throughout this investigation.

"They have shown courage, strength and dignity during what must have been a truly terrible time for them."

Helen Morris, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said she had been working closely with police since the start of the investigation.

Officers praised

"As the case has developed we have been carefully examining and assessing the evidence to come to a charging decision at the earliest possible opportunity," she added.

"Having carefully considered all the material provided by Merseyside Police I made the decision that there is sufficient evidence and I have authorised that five people should be charged."

Assistant chief constable Patricia Gallen praised the work of the Merseyside force which has been investigating the shooting for almost eight months.

"We have got to this stage in the inquiry through painstaking, determined investigations," she said.

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