THE jail sentence handed out to the gang member who armed Rhys Jones’s killer is to be reviewed to see if it is too lenient.

James Yates, 21, was jailed for seven years for assisting an offender and possession of a firearm after being convicted alongside killer Sean Mercer.

Yates, of Dodman Road, Croxteth, gave 18-year-old Mercer the Smith & Wesson revolver he used to shoot Rhys in August 2007. He then helped him cover up his crime.

The sentence drew outrage from Rhys’s parents, Melanie and Stephen, and privately investigating detectives were furious.

Mr and Mrs Jones said: “We are disgusted at the seven-year sentence given to Sean Mercer’s accomplice, James Yates.”

The Solicitor General, Vera Baird QC, has looked at the tariff and referred it to the Court of Appeal.

A spokesman for the Attorney General’s office said:

“It will now be for the Court of Appeal to review the sentence to determine whether it is unduly lenient.

“If the Court of Appeal decides the sentence is unduly lenient they have the power to increase the length of the sentence.”

Rhys was shot by Mercer - who was given a minimum 22 years - as the Croxteth Crew member fired at Norris Green rivals outside the Fir Tree Pub, Croxteth Park.

Liverpool solicitor Julian Linksill, who represents Yates, said: “Because of the public interest in this case it might come before the Court of Appeal within three to six months, but it could possibly take longer.

“James Yates received a seven year sentence for an offence that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.”

Yesterday, Mercer’s mother, Janette, 49, was taken to court by Riverside Housing Association who want to evict her from her Good Shepherd Close home, in Croxteth.

Mercer’s conviction for murder and Ms Mercer’s subsequent guilty plea to attempting to pervert the course of justice are a breach of tenancy, the trust say.

But the case will not be heard until May – after the April 1 hearing at Liverpool Crown Court where Mercer will be sentenced over the lies she told murder squad detectives.