The father of murdered schoolboy Rhys Jones has praised ITV drama Little Boy Blue.
The bereaved dad has hailed the four-part ITV series as “excellent” and totally accurate to the events that happened ten years ago.
Steve Jones was glued to the recent four-part series which portrayed the tragic events surrounding the fatal shooting of his football-mad son in Croxteth Park.
Mr Jones has now spoken for the first time about Little Boy Blue, and told the Liverpool Echo his wife Melanie, eldest son Owen and himself were impressed by the accuracy of the programme.
He described the actors, particularly the cold arrogance and cockiness displayed by those playing the teenage suspects, as “amazing.”
The dad said: “The family agreed to co-operate with the drama on the basis it correctly reflected what went on.
“Little Boy Blue didn’t glorify anything – we had so many texts from people thinking the Liverpool lads playing the suspects were the actual defendants.
“The portrayal of those in the dock, and their parents, could not have been better.
“The way they behaved during the trial [joking in front of the judge and jury] is what actually happened – they were messing about, laughing, drawing.”
Everton fan Rhys was walking home from football practice one evening when he was caught in the crossfire between two rival thug gangs in Norris Green and Croxteth in August 2007.
Little Boy Blue was commissioned ahead of the tenth anniversary of the crime which shocked the entire nation.
Mercer, only 16 when he fired the fateful shot, was jailed for life after a jury convicted him of murder.
He must serve a minimum of 22 years behind bars, meaning he will be at least in his early 40s when parole hearings for his release may be lodged.
Weapon supplier James Yates, and cohorts Dean Kelly, Nathan Quinn, Gary Kays and Melvin Coy were also locked up, for helping the teen murderer cover his tracks.
Stephen added: “If [Sean]Mercer, [James]Yates, [Dean]Kelly, [Nathan] Quinn, [Melvin] Coy, and [Gary] Kays represented the worst of Liverpool, the 39,000 Blues fans in Goodison, who gave Rhys a minute of applause in his memory, showed the very best of Liverpool people.
“It’s only a really small minority which blights areas.
“People in the community were terrified of these gangs – they literally stood on the doorsteps of families.
“I’d dread to be living in those areas where this went on.
“You can almost understand the wall of silence, to a certain extent.”
Stephen added: “The producer Jeff Pope only had four hours for his drama, so some things didn’t make the final version – you could have done a separate series on the trial and the courtroom itself.
“Little Boy Blue didn’t deal with the finding of the bike [ridden by Sean Mercer when he shot Rhys outside the Fir Tree pub], or cover the involvement of Gary Kays and Melvin Coy [who helped the 16-year-old killer dispose of crucial evidence] in helping to cover Mercer’s tracks.”
The Jones family were able to go and see the filming on set, but the family turned down most of the opportunities, Steven only attending the sessions at Liverpool Crown Court.
Steve added: “Jeff Pope and fellow producer Kwadjo Dajan produced an excellent drama, and they kept us updated with the events along the way.
“The offer was always there to watch the filming, but for Mel it’s still very raw.
“There were sections of the drama – like Rhys being shot in the Fir Tree car park, and his funeral at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral – which we swerved, as they were too emotional.
“We still live in the same house in Croxteth Park – personally, I feel a part of me and Rhys are still here.
“We’ve never really bumped into any of the defendants’ relatives in the neighbourhood.
“I can only once recall seeing a lad who gave the character Jordan an alibi – he is instantly recognisable.”
Source : BirminghamMail