Rhys Jones's mother blames bad parenting for his shooting RHYS Jones’s mum has blamed bad parenting for his shooting.
Melanie Jones said she cannot understand the lifestyles and lack of aspirations of the seven people convicted of the killing.
She also admitted it angered her when people said Rhys was "in the wrong place at the wrong time".
Mrs Jones, 43, from Croxteth, said: "Rhys was where he should have been.
"It was Sean Mercer that shouldn’t have been there."
Eleven-year-old Rhys was gunned down in broad daylight by 16-year-old Sean Mercer as he walked home from football training through the car park of the Fir Tree Pub
in August 2007.
In a TV interview being broadcast tonight
Mrs Jones, 43, said that she believed parenting was a factor in the tragedy.
She said: "I mean, we’re not saying we’re perfect because we’re not.
"But we’ve brought our sons up the best way that we could. We like to know where our sons were, who they’re with, what time they’ll be coming home. We knew their friends, what kind of friends they were, we knew their parents.
"But when you listen to the seven that were convicted over Rhys’s death... when you listen to what kind of life on a day-to-day basis. They get up at three o’clock in the afternoon, they have a weed, they play video games, they have another weed, they have another and that’s all they do, all day long.
"Or they hang around the streets and terrorise people. And you think, what kind of life have they got?
"Why don’t they want to do something else? Why don’t they aspire to be someone?"
Reflecting on life after Rhys, she said: "I don’t think we’ve gone through ’what ifs’ because Rhys was doing what he should have been doing.
"He was at football training, he was walking home.
"But the thing that really did upset us in the early days was that he was ’in the wrong place at the wrong time’.
"It was said a lot and that used to upset us, because we were thinking he wasn’t in the wrong place and it wasn’t the wrong time. Rhys was where he should have been, it was Sean Mercer that shouldn’t have been there."
The documentary will show previously unseen video of Rhys and follow dad Stephen, 45, as he visits his son’s old football haunts, including Goodison Park, the home of his beloved Everton FC.
Mr Jones meets manager David Moyes, the boss of the Merseyside club, and describes the pain of attending games without Rhys.
He said: "Initially, when we came back to Goodison you’d be looking for his hand to hold because there’s a lot of people around when the match finishes.
"You’d be looking around, looking around for somebody’s hand to hold."
Real Crime: Rhys Jones - Caught In The Crossfire, tonight at 9pm on ITV.Monday, June 15.
In her first television interview since the sentencing of her son’s killer, Sean Mercer, she told ITV1’s Real Life documentary programme.
He was an innocent victim caught in the crossfire of an open battle between two teenage gangs in the area.
Mercer, 18, was convicted of murder at Liverpool Crown Court last December and must serve a minimum of 22 years before being eligible for parole.
James Yates, 20, Gary Kays, 26, Melvin Coy, 25, Nathan Quinn, 18, Dean Kelly, 17, and a juvenile known as Boy M were also found guilty of helping the killer cover up his crime.
Mercer’s mother, Janette, 49, was also jailed for three years for perverting the course of justice as she lied to detectives during the investigation THE ECHO