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Coach

Rhys Jones Killer's gang celebrate jail sentence

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Three gang members convicted over the killing of schoolboy Rhys Jones cheered as they left the courtroom today.

They celebrated after the judge ruled they will only serve five years in prison between them.

James Yates, 21 tomorrow, Nathan Quinn, 18, and Dean Kelly, 17, yelled with delight after being sentenced for assisting murderer Sean Mercer, 18.

Rhys, 11, was murdered by Mercer in Croxteth, Liverpool, in August 2007.

Last month Mercer, of (address removed) was jailed for a minimum 22-year-term.

The trio left the bullet-proof dock after winking and smiling at family and friends at Liverpool Crown Court.

Seconds later they were heard celebrating loudly and a security guard was also heard telling them to be quiet.

After time on remand is taken in to account, the Croxteth Crew members' actual time served will be five years but the full sentences totalled 13.

Yates, who supplied Mercer with the 1915 Smith and Wesson used to gun down the innocent schoolboy, was given a seven-year sentence.

He was also convicted of assisting Mercer dump the gun and the killer's clothing for which he will serve two concurrent six-year terms.

Yates, (address removed), will serve half his sentence - like his co-accused - and have 286 days on remand, knocked off.

He will be out at the start of 2012.

After Mercer killed Rhys on the car park of the Fir Tree pub in Croxteth, Yates was at the centre of a plan to avoid justice.

He rushed to Mercer's aid as they converged at the home of Boy M - who cannot be named - with Nathan Quinn.

The judge, Mr Justice Irwin, told Yates: "There is strong evidence you were an active gang member, trusted by Mercer.

"It was evident that 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."

Nathan Quinn, of (address removed) is already serving five years for possession of a gun.

The thickset teenager - who has had nine rulings against him for fights behind bars - accompanied the gang who transported Mercer to Kirkby, Liverpool, where he was doused in petrol in order to clean him of evidence.

Last month, Quinn was convicted unanimously by a jury of two counts of assisting an offender.

He was due to be released from his current sentence in June 2010 - imposed for trying to buy a gun just weeks after Rhys's murder.

Today he was jailed for two more. He will serve only one of those and be released in June 2011.

As he was led from the dock he looked at a friend in the public gallery and pulled a face of surprised glee.

Mr Justice Irwin told him: "You were relied upon by Mercer and went directly when summoned.

"You were there to help in any way you could with the gun and clothing and, I have no doubt, with anything else that needed to be done.

"From the pre-sentence report you continue to deny the offences.

"You acknowledge your gang membership, claim friendship with Yates, but suggest you had nothing to do with the events of that evening.

"This demonstrates that you are still hiding from the truth.

"It is very significant you are already serving a five-year sentence for possession of a firearm and ammunition."

Dean Kelly, 17, (address removed), was sentenced to four years for possession of guns, ammunition and assisting an offender.

The court heard he was expelled from school at just 14 despite every effort being made to accommodate him and control his behaviour.

When Rhys was murdered Kelly was drifting along, with no job, training or education and he moved out of his grandfather's house because he tried to make him behave.

In the aftermath of Rhys's murder, Kelly hid the murder weapon and made sure the gang's plans to avoid detection were being implemented by a witness who turned supergrass.

Kelly - who has an ASBO for terrorising sports centre staff - got involved with the gang's plan on 26 August, four days after the murder.

The judge said: "By the 26th the killing was all over your estate and the country but you moved the murder weapon in the middle of that outcry."

Boy M, 16, who has attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, and was previously beaten up by his gang mates for "grassing", was given a two-year supervision order with a four month 7pm to 7am curfew for assisting an offender.

He had dumped some of Mercer's clothes, the bike used to cycle from the murder scene and the gun.

James Hughes, 22, of (address removed), was jailed for six months for lying to police about Boy M's whereabouts when Rhys was killed.

The judge told him the "stupid gang culture" ruled because people were scared and intimidated into lying.

Hughes had to be jailed, said the judge, in a bid to make people scared of lying to the police.

Fellow gang members Gary Kays, 26, and Melvin Coy, 25, both of West Derby, Liverpool, were jailed for seven years for their part in the cover up.

Detectives built their case by bugging the homes of Boy M and Yates which harvested damning audio evidence.

A teenager close to the gangs confessed his involvement to police, was given immunity from prosecution and gave evidence during the 11 week trial.

Today, Rhys's parents Steven, 45, and Melanie, 43, sat side by side in court and remained impassive.

Edited by Coach

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Good grief... have to say, no wonder so many are losing so much faith in the judiciary.

exactly

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Completely appauling... questions should be asked of the judge for handing out such pitiful sentences. As you say, no wonder people have lost fail in the justice system.

An updated article on the BBC now stating that the parents of Rhys have come out and said that the sentences handed out are a disgrace:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/7859195.stm

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I had just recently started to feel that we were at a turning point with sentencing with after hearing about some fairly decent sentences (by today’s standards) being passed but this is shocking!!

Winking and smiling at family members? Cheering and ‘celebrating’ they should automatically lose their right to parole for that alone in my view!! Utter contempt for the court and the poor family!!

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They are SCUM. I know Rhys Jones's family, (well I think I have met his mum once because my auntie is mates with her) and it is absoloutely appauling. The judges are a joke. As it has already been said, so many people are losing faith in the judicial system because of things like this. They should give them life aswell.

:D :D :):eek: :D :):prone:

Edited by Jon_b

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The reality is; These sort of sentances will just increase rates of crime and vigilante's.

I wouldnt be suprised if one of these people were attacked, the ammount of publicity it recieves, and if they were, what will the (offending) person get? another pitiful sentance?

Its devastating towards the family who have lost so much.

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The reality is; These sort of sentances will just increase rates of crime and vigilante's.

I wouldnt be suprised if one of these people were attacked, the ammount of publicity it recieves, and if they were, what will the (offending) person get? another pitiful sentance?

Its devastating towards the family who have lost so much.

How can we lobby for more decent sentences to be imposed on criminals? Correct me if Im wronge, but I think Judges follow certain guidelines when it comes to sentencing? How much of a decision do they actually have over the time they can impose, and who decided on the guidelines for sentencing? Surely there must be a movement for sentencing increases out there already?

It's as though the massive majority of the public appears to disagree with a lot of judicial sentencing decisions and will verbally make their feeling known, but nothing changes. What can we actually do to change this?

Edited by mcddrums

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due to certain training that i have received ( in noway connected to the police) i know that there is a great deal more focus on rehabilitating offenders. While i do agree that some people can be helped and need support to assist them in not re offending, there are some people ( as always) who will ause the system.

Although not mentioned in the artical i wonder if these guys have got a referal to other services.

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due to certain training that i have received ( in noway connected to the police) i know that there is a great deal more focus on rehabilitating offenders. While i do agree that some people can be helped and need support to assist them in not re offending, there are some people ( as always) who will ause the system.

Although not mentioned in the artical i wonder if these guys have got a referal to other services.

but can this work? can rehabilitating offenders always have a possitive affect all the time?

now the situation is. because this has been a major story about the tragic death of such a loving innocent child. It sparked another major focus on youth crime and how we are campainging to get guns and knifes off our street. Don't you think with these sentences given to these people it will undo all our hard work?

Many people i know already have a bad perception of the judicial system and young people who carry these weapons will have no fear as they think they will only get a few years and a degree at the end of it?

Note: Any opinions made by me are not those of the force or position i'm applying to.

Edited by Coach

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Really what has to happen to take very dangerous evil people like this off our streets? They all played some part in the death of that little boy and only got that kind of sentence some how the courts are going to have to start making a stand and giving proper sentences to offenders. :prone::eek:

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Really what has to happen to take very dangerous evil people like this off our streets? They all played some part in the death of that little boy and only got that kind of sentence some how the courts are going to have to start making a stand and giving proper sentences to offenders. :prone::eek:

What was the precise offence that these people were convicted of, and the maximum they couldl have got? It's not clear to me from reading the article: certainly I don't think that they were convicted on a murder charge, were they?

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It would be interesting to see what Bystander (from The Magistrate's Blog) has to say about this as he is usually very in the know about sentencing and other details the newspapers have left out.

I do find it surprising sometimes that we don't get more vigilantes!

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What was the precise offence that these people were convicted of, and the maximum they couldl have got? It's not clear to me from reading the article: certainly I don't think that they were convicted on a murder charge, were they?

supplying someone with a firearm, and helping him hide/escape from getting caught by the police as far as i'm aware

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