The parents of 11-year-old Rhys Jones have spoken publicly for the first time about their son’s murder following his tragic death over a decade ago.
Mel and Steve Jones appeared on This Morning today where they revealed their ongoing battle to deal with the loss of their son and how they will ‘never forgive’ his ‘baby faced’ killer Sean Mercer.
Rhys was shot and killed by Sean on his way home from football practice in Croxteth, Liverpool on August 22nd, 2007.
His mum rushed to his side and cradled him as he lay dying in a car park before tragically passing away two hours later in hospital.
‘He was just a lovely, cheeky 11-year-old boy. Mad on football, always wanted to be outside,’ Mel told hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby.
Following on from the success of last year’s ITV drama Little Boy Blue – which followed the story of Rhys’s parents and the Merseyside police in bringing his killer to justice, as well as the family’s battle to cope with the tragic loss of a child – Sue revealed she felt it was the right time to pen a book about her son.
Rhys was only 11 years old when he was killed
‘After the Little Boy Blue success people were shocked and surprised what we went through as a family. It was the right time to write the book and I felt I could write it now,’ she said.
Husband Steve added: ‘We had a lot of positive reactions to Little Boy Blue. I thought writing a book would help along the way with the grief of losing Rhys.’
Titled Stay With Me, Mel broke down as she explained the meaning behind the title.
She said: ‘When I was in the car park with Rhys I just kept saying over and over, “Stay with me Rhys, I’m here, stay with me”. But he couldn’t hear me.’
Speaking of Rhys’ murderer, Sue admitted she doesn’t waste her energy hating him, but she will ‘never forgive’ him for taking her child away.
She added: ‘I don’t hate him. It uses up too much of your energy, but I will never forgive him.
‘It drives me insane when people say Rhys was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was doing what he should be doing; it was Sean Mercer that shouldn’t have been there.
‘When we first walked into that courtroom and saw him I couldn’t believe it, he had such a baby face, I thought it’s a child killing another child.’
And Steve added that while Sean received a minimum of 22-years in prison, life should mean life.
‘We are a great believer in that life should mean life,’ he said. ‘He never showed any remorse, if he was sorry he’d have handed himself in. He never thought about us for one minute.’