The mother of Rhys Jones’ killer faces jail again after helping another of her sons to evade justice.
Janette Mercer, 63, was jailed for three years back in 2009 for perverting the course of justice, having told lies to detectives investigating the 11-year-old schoolboy’s murder. Sean Mercer, 16 at the time, shot and killed Rhys on August 22 2007.
But his mum tried to cover up a crucial piece of evidence by lying to the police in a statement when they asked her about bicycles her son owned or had access to.
Now she has pleaded guilty to assisting an offender, a charge which relates to another of her three sons, Joseph Mercer, whom she is believed to have helped while he was being investigated over drug supply offences.
He was imprisoned for 30 months in October 2020 after being caught peddling heroin and crack cocaine from a hotel room in Bournemouth, Dorset, but his mother had tried to help avoid punishment.
Janette Mercer will be sentenced in February and was today released on bail ahead of that date, Liverpool Echo reports.
Rhys was tragically caught in the crossfire of a feud between the Croxteth Crew and the rival Norris Green-based Strand Gang as he walked home from football training in Liverpool.
Mercer was later unanimously convicted of murder by a jury and jailed for life with a minimum term of 22 years.
He was riding a silver mountain bike when he fired the fatal shot, but his deceitful mum claimed he did not own such a bike – instead saying he had only a black, orange and white one.
It was subsequently discovered that Janette Mercer, of Kirkdale Liverpool, had taken delivery of the bike four months earlier when it was sent to the family following an insurance claim.
On the day of her sentencing in 2009, the mother of three reportedly smiled at friends and family in the public gallery as she was led to the cells by security guards.