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Last Updated: Tuesday December 16 2008 16:03 GMT

Teen guilty of Rhys Jones murder

Rhys Jones - Merseyside Police/PA Wire

A teenager who was found guilty of killing Rhys Jones has been sentenced to spend at least 22 years in jail.

A jury at Liverpool Crown Court decided Sean Mercer, now 18 years old, murdered 11-year-old Rhys on 22 August 2007.

Rhys was killed when Mercer fired three bullets from a gun, near a car park in Liverpool. Rhys was walking through it and was shot in the neck and died.

Mercer had said he didn't kill Rhys and had been somewhere else at the time, but the jury didn't believe him.

After the court decision, Rhys' parents read out a statement saying: "Finally justice has been done for Rhys."

His father Stephen also thanked everyone for their support. "From the day Rhys died, the kindness shown to us by the people of Liverpool has been immeasurable," he said. "For this, we will always thank you from the bottom of our hearts."

Bullets

Sean Mercer, who lived at Good Shepherd Close, Croxteth, was 16 years old when the crime happened.

Sean Mercer
Sean Mercer
Mercer was a member of a gang called the Croxteth Crew in Liverpool. When he fired the bullets that killed Rhys he was trying to shoot people who were in a different gang to him.

Other people in the same gang as Mercer were found guilty of trying to help him avoid being caught, which is called assisting an offender.

Other guilty verdicts

These people were James Yates, 20, of Dodman Road and Nathan Quinn, 18, of Wickett Close, both Croxteth; Gary Kays, 26, of Mallard Close and Melvin Coy, 25, of Abbeyfield Drive, both West Derby, Liverpool.

Another person, called Boy M in the court case because at 16 years old he is too young legally to be named, was found guilty of assisting an offender as well.

They helped Mercer destroy the clothes he was wearing when he fired the gun, and helped him hide the gun he had used.

Another person, called Boy K during the trial, was found guilty of four other offences linked to the killing of Rhys. He has now been named as Dean Kelly, 17, of Sword Walk, Croxteth.