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Gang member who shot Rhys Jones confesses to murder

Prison letters: Eleven-year-old Rhys Jones’ killer Sean Mercer has confessed to the killing in prison letters 

The teenage gang member jailed for shooting dead schoolboy Rhys Jones in a crime that shocked the nation has sensationally opened up about his killing.

Sean Mercer admitted gunning down the 11-year-old in a letter to a pen pal despite denying it at his trial nine years ago.

Then 16, he pleaded not guilty to murder and sat in silence during the ten-week hearing.

But a jury at Liverpool Crown Court found him guilty of murder on December 16, 2008, and he was jailed for life with a minimum of 22 years.

Now Mercer, 26, has written about the killing in letters sent from his maximum security prison cell.

He told Rhian Rose: ‘I have to live with what happened every day and it’s horrible, as I’ve said it kills me inside, I didn’t know the little lad had been hit until hours later. I didn’t see him, I found out on the night time. It’s a s**t situation.’

In a series of letters written over the past few months, he boasted of his comfortable life behind bars to former model, Rhian.

He has bagged an enviable job in the gym, meaning can work out every day. He also plays football and is now a strapping six foot tall athlete.

Behind bars: Sean Mercer, now 26, admitting his gunning down the football-mad 11-year-old despite denying it at his trial nine years ago. But a jury at Liverpool Crown Court found him guilty of murder on December 16, 2008, and he was jailed for life with a minimum of 22 years.

Behind bars: Sean Mercer, now 26, admitting his gunning down the football-mad 11-year-old despite denying it at his trial nine years ago. But a jury at Liverpool Crown Court found him guilty of murder on December 16, 2008, and he was jailed for life with a minimum of 22 years.

Tragic: Now Mercer, 26, wrote about the killing of Rhys, pictured, in letters sent from his maximum security prison cell. He told a pen pal: 'I have to live with what happened every day and it's horrible, as I've said it kills me inside, I didn't know the little lad had been hit until hours later. I didn't see him, I found out on the night time. It's a s**t situation.'

Tragic: Now Mercer, 26, wrote about the killing of Rhys, pictured, in letters sent from his maximum security prison cell. He told a pen pal: ‘I have to live with what happened every day and it’s horrible, as I’ve said it kills me inside, I didn’t know the little lad had been hit until hours later. I didn’t see him, I found out on the night time. It’s a s**t situation.’

Pen pal:  Single mother-of-two Rhian Rose, 24, pictured, started writing to Mercer. She sent him racy photos including one of her bottom and a second of her wearing lingerie showing heavily tattooed leg, which immediately piqued his interest.

Pen pal:  Single mother-of-two Rhian Rose, 24, pictured, started writing to Mercer. She sent him racy photos including one of her bottom and a second of her wearing lingerie showing heavily tattooed leg, which immediately piqued his interest.

The former gang member now enjoys cooking and studying and has given up watching TV to focus on an Open University degree course.

Mercer is held at Category A HMP Frankland prison in County Durham, dubbed ‘Monster Mansion’ as it houses Britain’s most notorious killers including Ian Huntley and Levi Bellfield.

He boasted to mother-of-two Rhian, 24, of his muscly 6ft tall appearance, adding:’I look mad different now. I train every day in the gym so I’m in pretty good shape.

‘I’ve grown up a bit really, that picture they blast everywhere was when I was 16, I looked proper young on that. I was only small then, I’m over six foot now.’

He denied a newspaper report that he has taken up drama, mocking: ‘That’s the first time I’ve heard that, it doesn’t sound too bad but there’s never been drama lessons given out in prison.

‘I’m doing an open university degree at the moment so I’m studying a lot of the time so the TV is usually switched off,’ he added.

‘I’m not one to sit and watch to sit there and watch the TV all day, I’m more of a music person so I’ve got the tunes thumping most of the day.’

Of his passion for cooking, he said: ‘You can buy and cook your own food in the wing, I’m in the kitchen every night cooking, I consider myself quite a good cook now which is a good thing.’

Football-mad Rhys  was shot dead when a bullet hit him from a gun fired by Mercer.

Little Rhys was 11 when he died and was walking home from football training.

In his letters to Rhian, the former gang member boasted of his cushy life in Category A HMP Frankland Prison where he is studying for an Open University degree, enjoys cooking and uses the gym every day. Pictured: Everton fan Rhys was killed in Croxteth, Liverpool, in 2007

Boasts: Mercer bragged to Rhian about his muscly 6ft tall appearance, adding: 'I look mad different now. I train every day in the gym so I'm in pretty good shape. I'm over six foot now.' Pictured: Rhys' parents Melanie and Stephen Jones arrive for the start of Mercer's trial in 2008

Boasts: Mercer bragged to Rhian about his muscly 6ft tall appearance, adding: ‘I look mad different now. I train every day in the gym so I’m in pretty good shape. I’m over six foot now.’ Pictured: Rhys’ parents Melanie and Stephen Jones arrive for the start of Mercer’s trial in 2008

In his neatly handwritten letters ¿ as inmates aren't allowed to email ¿ Mercer told his pen pal he would love to take her on a date one day when finally freed. He admitted to being 'an inexperienced boyfriend' having only had one girlfriend and said that he fantasised about her. Pictured: Category A HMP Frankland where Mercer is held

In his neatly handwritten letters – as inmates aren’t allowed to email – Mercer told his pen pal he would love to take her on a date one day when finally freed. He admitted to being ‘an inexperienced boyfriend’ having only had one girlfriend and said that he fantasised about her. Pictured: Category A HMP Frankland where Mercer is held

Mercer used a Smith and Wesson .455 revolver (pictured) when he shot dead Everton FC fan Rhys in August 2007 as the boy was walking home from football practice across a pub car park at the Fir Tree pub in Croxteth

Mercer used a Smith and Wesson .455 revolver (pictured) when he shot dead Everton FC fan Rhys in August 2007 as the boy was walking home from football practice across a pub car park at the Fir Tree pub in Croxteth

The killer, born in Croxteth, Liverpool, revealed that he likes to keep busy ‘not sit on my a*** all day’ and although he says he is a ‘very social person’ he complains he has too many visitors, who give him a taste of the outside world he craves for.

Rhian, from Worcester, started writing to the killer in May after a friend who had once been in youth custody with Mercer told her about him.

She explained: ‘I felt sorry for him so thought I’d drop him a line to him to help cheer him up. I first contacted him through Email a Prisoner and he was surprised I knew about the service.’

In his letters, Mercer moaned that he still had at least 12 years of his prison sentence left to serve for murder.

In his letters, Mercer moaned that he still had at least 12 years of his prison sentence left to serve for murder.

She even sent him racy photos including one of her bottom and a second of her wearing lingerie showing heavily tattooed leg, which immediately piqued Mercer’s interest.

In his neatly handwritten letters – as inmates aren’t allowed to email – he told her he would love to take her on a date one day when finally freed.

He admitted to being ‘an inexperienced boyfriend’ having only had one girlfriend and said that he fantasised about her. 

Mercer told Rhian that he daydreams about seeing her in ‘the least clothes possible’. He said he wanted to take her for a romantic dinner and take her home to watch Netflix.

He wrote: ‘I love tattoos on girls and the big 1 on your leg is beautiful. And your body is crazy. I could tell straight away you go the gym from the shape of you bum and legs’ followed by a smile icon. 

He continues: ‘Your just my type but I’m doing a long time an not expecting anything, lets have it right this is just a bit of fun but you wind me up with your pictures. [sic]’ 

He refers to the long time he faces being locked up, writing: ‘You said I’ve only got 12 years left haha ‘only’ you can do it or me if you want!’

In four letters, littered with grammar errors, he wrote: ‘I can’t help but think I’m unlucky, I guarantee I wouldn’t of been still in the gangs it would have been more along the lines of being shot and killed myself before I realised the reality of what I was doing sunk in!’

The murder of little Rhys at the hands of Mercer was turned into a four part ITV drama called 'Little Boy Blue' which chronicled the crime, which shocked the nation. Pictured: Rhys' mother Melanie in 2008

The murder of little Rhys at the hands of Mercer was turned into a four part ITV drama called ‘Little Boy Blue’ which chronicled the crime, which shocked the nation. Pictured: Rhys’ mother Melanie in 2008

Mercer shot dead Everton FC fan Rhys in August 2007 as the boy was walking home from football practice across a pub car park at the Fir Tree pub in Croxteth. 

He fired three shots from a revolver at gang rivals, with the second bullet ricocheting off a car and hitting Rhys. Wearing a hoodie, Mercer was seen arriving on CCTV on his mountain bike.

Rhian, who is pregnant with her third child with new boyfriend Grant Sumner, 24, said she has now stopped corresponding with Mercer after watching the ITV drama ‘Little Boy Blue’ about Rhys’ murder.

‘It was shocking,’ she said. ‘I’m a mum myself and it made me think what a cold-blooded killer he is and although we had a good rapport and he said some flattering things about me I don’t want to write to him any more.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk