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#287684 - 29th Jan 2009 2:29pm Rhys killer's gang is sentenced
_jase_
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Four members of a gang who helped the killer of Liverpool schoolboy Rhys Jones evade police, have been sentenced.

James Yates, 20, Nathan Quinn, 18, Dean Kelly, 17, and Boy M, 16, were found guilty of helping killer Sean Mercer.

Rhys, 11, was shot dead by Mercer in Croxteth on 22 August 2007.

At Liverpool Crown Court Yates was sentenced to seven years, Kelly received four years, and Quinn two. Boy M was given a supervision order.

Mercer has already been sentenced and will serve a minimum of 22 years after shooting Rhys dead in the car park of the Fir Tree Pub as the youngster walked home from football practice.

Yates, of Dodman Road; Quinn, of Wickett Close; Kelly, of Sword Walk, and Boy M, all from Croxtethj, were found guilty of assisting an offender along with fellow Croxteth Crew members Gary Kays, 26, and Melvin Coy, 25.

Speaking after the hearing, Rhys' parents Stephen and Melanie Jones said: "These sentences can in no way compensate for the loss of our loving son who had the world and his future at his feet.

"We are disgusted at the seven-year sentence given to Sean Mercer's accomplice, James Yates.

"In our minds he is the one who provided the gun that killed our son."

The 10-week trial heard the four, along with Kays and Coy, destroyed evidence and hid the murder weapon.

After the killing, Mercer, of Good Shepherd Close, Croxteth, fled the scene by bike to the house of Boy M where a cover-up plan was hatched.

Kays and Coy drove Mercer to an industrial site in Kirkby, Merseyside, where his clothes were burned and petrol poured over his body to remove gun residue. Kelly was then said to have provided Mercer with a false alibi.

Sentencing Yates, Judge Justice Irwin said: "There is strong evidence you were an active gang member, trusted by Mercer.

"You and Quinn were first on the scene at the home of Boy M.

"I have no doubt you were a willing assistant helping in any way you could to dispose of the gun and to travel to Kirkby."

The court heard Yates had made a partial confession to a probation officer while in jail, but he was still a threat.

Coy, of Mallard Close and Kays, of Abbeyfield Drive, both West Derby, have already been jailed for seven years each.

Quinn's two year term will be added to a five-year sentence for a previous gun-related offence.

After the sentencing, Det Supt Dave Kelly of Merseyside Police, said: "Ultimately nothing can bring Rhys back, but we hope that his family can find some peace in the fact that justice has been served.

"This has been a long and difficult investigation, particularly for members of Rhys's family and the witnesses who helped secure these convictions."

THE BBC

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#287715 - 29th Jan 2009 6:34pm Re: Rhys killer's gang is sentenced [Re: ]
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#287904 - 30th Jan 2009 1:24pm Sean Mercer gang’s shouts of glee [Re: _Ste_]
_jase_
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THREE gang members who tried to help Rhys Jones’s killer escape justice yelled in celebration as they were led away from court.




They helped Sean Mercer, 18, cover his tracks after he gunned down the 11-year-old who was walking home from football practice.

Last December Mercer showed little emotion as he was sentenced to life with a minimum of 22 years behind bars after being convicted of murder.

His Croxteth Crew friends James Yates, 20, Nathan Quinn, 18, and Dean Kelly, 17, were yesterday locked up for a total of 13 years at Liverpool crown court.

But they cheered as they left the courtroom after learning they would serve only five years between them because of the time already spent on remand.

The teenagers grinned and winked at family and friends gathered in the public gallery as they were escorted out.

Seconds later, they were heard celebrating loudly as security guards tried to control them.

Rhys’s parents Melanie and Stephen, sitting side-by-side in court, remained impassive.

But afterwards Mr Jones, who took notes during the two-hour hearing, branded the sentence handed down to Yates, who turns 21 today, a “disgrace”.

He said: “We are disgusted at the seven-year sentence given to Sean Mercer’s accomplice, James Yates.

“In our minds, he is the one who provided the gun which killed our son and he deserved a longer sentence.

“We feel seven years is a disgrace.”

Mr Jones added: “However, we hope the other sentences handed out yesterday and before Christmas send a clear message to all those involved in gangs and with guns they will be found out, tracked down, convicted and heavily sentenced.

“But despite this, these sentences can in no way compensate for the loss of our loving son, who had the world and his future at his feet.”

Football fanatic Rhys was killed on August 22, 2007, as he walked home across the Fir Tree Pub car park in Croxteth Park, when hooded gunman Mercer blasted three shots at rivals from Norris Green.

the liverpool echo

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#287911 - 30th Jan 2009 1:47pm Re: Sean Mercer gang’s shouts of glee [Re: ]
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