Rhys Jones killer Sean Mercer in jail gang as prison is ‘no different from streets‘

Sean Mercer has been taken “under the umbrella” of a gang at HMP Frankland jail, where he is serving 22 years for the murder of 11-year-old Rhys.

The teenage gangster, from Liverpool, was just 16 when he he shot dead Everton fan Rhys as he walked home from football practice in 2007.

Rhys was tragically caught in the crossfire of a gang shootout between the Croxteth Crew and the Strand Gang in the carpark of the Fir Tree Pub.

The killer was known to be a member of the Croxteth Crew, a criminal gang in the area of the same name in Liverpool where anti-social behaviour was prevalent.

The shocking shooting outraged the nation and raised questions about the problem of youth gangs and gun crime in Liverpool.

Eleven years on, a prison source told Daily Star Online the environment at HMP Frankland is not too dissimilar to the streets where he gunned down Rhys.

CAGED: Mercer killed Rhys as he walked home back in 2007

“There’s a lot of lads from Liverpool in there,” the source said.  

“Every prisoner is under the umbrella of a gang in a certain sense.

“He’d be in with the lads from Liverpool.”

HMP Frankland, in County Durham, is home to some of Britain’s most notorious criminals – including Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe and Soham killer Ian Huntley.

Mercer has already been targeted by violent inmates at the Category A jail, known as “Monster Mansion”, after getting into scraps with “the wrong people”.

TRAGIC: Rhys Jones was aged 11 when he was shot in the back by Sean Mercer in 2007 Related Articles

KILLER: Sean Mercer was jailed for a minimum of 22 years

“He’d be in with the lads from Liverpool”

Jail source

The prison source said that inmates of similar backgrounds, ages and cultures tend to stick together, adopting a mentality of “strength in numbers”.

They said: “Once they’re in jail they look after each other and once they’re a unit, there might be some other gang they go after.

“Jail is a society within a society.

“Just because it’s not on the streets, doesn’t mean it’s not continued inside.”

Rhys Jones: the tragic murder case that shocked a nation

  The senseless murder of 11-year-old Rhys Jones shook Britain to the core. We take a look back at one of the most tragic cases of recent times 1 / 24 AFP/Getty Images A tribute to Rhys Jones inside Saint Luke the Evangelist church in Liverpool

    Mercer, now 27, denied murder at his trial in 2008 but was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 22 years.

    A new , aired on ITV on Thursday, will explore the protracted police investigation into the murder of Rhys.

    In the film, titled : Police Tapes, presenter Susanna Reid will ask Rhys’ parents, Mel and Steve, how they dealt with the grieving process after losing their son.

    In the documentary, Steve tells Reid: “Mercer gets 22 years which at the time we were happy with that tariff, but we live that life sentence now.

    “There is no end of sentence for us, there just isn‘t. We are the ones that suffer, our family is still suffering and will do for the rest of our lives, from the pain of losing Rhys.”