Rhys's mum weeps in court as accused appears

A TEENAGER appeared in court today charged with the murder of schoolboy Rhys Jones.

A TEENAGER appeared in court today charged with the murder of schoolboy Rhys Jones.

The 17-year-old is alleged to have shot Rhys, 11, in a pub car park in Croxteth Park, Liverpool, on August 22 last year as he walked home from football training.

Rhys's parents Melanie and Stephen Jones were at Liverpool Magistrates' Court for the hearing.

The boy, dressed in a black hooded tracksuit and with short brown hair, was flanked by two security guards as he was brought into the dock.

He spoke in a heavy Liverpudlian accent only to confirm his name and address.

The youth cannot be named for legal reasons because of his age.

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Rhys' mother broke into tears, dabbing at her eyes with a white handkerchief, as she clung on to the arm of her husband, who was sitting with his arms folded, breathing deeply and shifting his position to get a better look at the youth.

David Maxwell, prosecuting, read out the charge: “On the 22nd of the eighth 2007, at the Fir Tree public house car park, Fir Tree Drive, Liverpool, he murdered Rhys Jones contrary to common law. The prosecution is seeking a remand in custody, he is a youth."

No plea was entered and the facts of the case were not opened.

District Judge Richard Clancy agreed to remand the accused into custody for one week, but said he hoped a trial could be proceeded with as soon as possible.

The murder suspect appeared alone for the brief hearing.

But three other teenagers, two aged 16 and a 17-year-old, all charged with assisting an offender, also appear at the same court today.

One of the 16-year-olds has also been charged with possession of a firearm.

Before proceedings began, Judge Clancy made an order banning the identification of any of the youths appearing in court.

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