THE heartbreaking moment the grieving mum of murdered Rhys Jones was told by police she could be arrested if she hugged her dead son’s body has been reenacted for a new TV drama.
Little Boy Blue viewers tonight saw the moment Rhys’s death his mother Melanie – played by Sinead Keenan – was told her son was dead and that she could not give him one last cuddle.
Schoolboy Rhys Jones was gunned down in August 2007[/caption]
Innocent 11-year-old Rhys was infamously shot and killed outside a pub in Croxteth, Liverpool, in August 2007 in a shocking attack which rocked the nation.
In an interview with the Radio Times, Little Boy Blue producer Jeff Pope claimed in the hours after Rhys’s death his mother Melanie was told she would be arrested if she hugged her son’s body.
Tonight viewers saw the aftermath of his shooting with the moment Rhys’ devastated family were told he had been killed.
ITV say Melanie and Steve Jones supported the making of the drama[/caption]
The Everton supporter was walking home from football practice when he was caught up in the deadly crossfire of rival gangs The Strand Gang, from Norris Green, and The Croxteth Crew.
The sports-mad youngster was gunned down in broad daylight when a hooded youth cycled by and fired three shots from a handgun.
One struck Rhys in the back and his distraught mother Melanie rushed to the scene when she heard what had happened.
Paramedics tried for over an hour and a half to save Rhys[/caption]
Police search for clues at the scene of the daylight shooting[/caption]
Sinead Keenan as Mel Jones and Sony Beyga as Rhys Jones in the ITV drama[/caption]
Paramedics tried for over an hour and a half to save Rhys, but he was later pronounced dead at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.
The dramatic story of the hunt for his killer - a 16-year-old gang member - is now to be told in the new ITV drama.
Sean Mercer was convicted of murder and sentenced to serve a minimum of 22 years in jail for the needless killing.
Rhys’s death caused a national outcry and more than 2,500 mourners attended his funeral in Liverpool.
“There’s a scene where Melanie wants to cuddle Rhys in the morgue and she’s told [by a police officer concerned about contamination of evidence], ‘If you keep doing that, I’ll arrest you,’ ” Mr Pope claimed.
“If Melanie tells you about that in a documentary, it’s very powerful. But to actually see her reaction? You can only do that with drama.”
Merseyside police has not commented in connection with the claims.
The powerful four-part drama, from BAFTA winning writer and executive producer Pope (Appropriate Adult, The Widower), centres on the devastating impact on Liverpool following the death.
This is England star Stephen Graham takes the role of Detective Supt Dave Kelly[/caption]
It explores his parents' ordeal, and tells the story of how Rhys’s murderer and associates were eventually brought to justice.
ITV say both Melanie and Steve Jones supported the making of the drama.
Mr Pope has specialised in creating television series that are based on real events.
He was the executive producer of the recent BBC two-part dramatisation of the disappearance of Shannon Matthews.
More than 2,500 mourners attended the schoolboy's funeral in Liverpool[/caption]
The Jones family stand on the touchline during a minute's applause at Everton v Blackburn Rovers in 2007[/caption]
The Moorside, which starred Sheridan Smith, depicted the reaction of the community in West Yorkshire to the eventual revelation that the “kidnapping” of Shannon had been arranged by the child’s mother and another man in an effort to claim reward money.
Mr Pope was also behind Appropriate Adult, about the serial killers Fred and Rose West, and The Widower, which was based on the crimes of the convicted murderer Malcolm Webster.