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  1. ITV Report

Rhys Jones' father: I'll never forgive my son's killer

Rhys Jones Photo: ITV News

The father of murdered schoolboy Rhys Jones has told how he can never forgive his son's killer, a decade after the 11-year-old was shot.

Rhys was gunned down by 16-year-old Sean Mercer on his way home from football practice in Croxteth, Liverpool, on August 22 2007.

On the 10th anniversary of his death, his father Steve told the Liverpool Echo:

"We don't forgive Mercer and his cronies. We never forget what they did.

"There's been no remorse from day one."

He added: "It was very hard to comprehend what had gone on, you just don't expect someone to be shot on a field coming back from playing football."

Rhys Jones (r) and his father Steve Credit: Merseyside Police

Mercer, who was jailed for a minimum of 22 years for the killing, blasted three bullets across a pub car park after targeting gang rivals who had strayed onto his turf. Rhys was caught in the line of fire and shot in the neck.

On Sunday, Mr Jones and Rhys's mother Mel will take part in Run for Rhys - a fun run to raise money for the Rhys Jones Community Centre which was set up in Croxteth after his death.

The couple said: "Losing a child in such devastating circumstances is something that no-one should ever go through.

"It's something we will never get over. You take one day at a time and learn to cope in different ways.

"It's been a long, tiring and difficult 10 years. But throughout the last decade we've continued to receive incredible support from the people of Liverpool and beyond.

"It means the world to us as a family, we really cannot thank people enough.

"It's fantastic that people are taking part in the event to support the centre's work and keep Rhys' memory alive."

Tributes were also paid to the young football fan at Everton's match against Hajduk Split last week.

Fans joined in a minute's applause and images of Rhys, wearing his Everton shirt, were shown on screens at Goodison Park in the 11th minute of the match on Thursday.