Who are Francis and Marie Yates? Couple jailed for perverting the course of justice following Rhys Jones murder – all you need to know


‘THEY SHOULD’VE KNOWN BETTER’

The investigation into the 2007 murder is the subject of a new ITV drama ‘Little Boy Blue’

FRANCIS and Marie Yates were jailed for perverting the course of justice following the murder of 11-year-old schoolboy Rhys Jones, in a case that shocked the country.

The case has been turned into four-part drama series Little Boy Blue set to be aired on ITV in April.

Francis and Marie Yates were jailed for perverting the course of justice following the death of Rhys Jones

News Group Newspapers Ltd

Francis and Marie Yates were jailed for perverting the course of justice following the death of Rhys Jones

Who are Francis and Marie Yates?

Francis and Marie Yates conspired to cover the tracks of Rhys Jones’ killer and their son, who had supplied him with a firearm.

Everton fan Rhys was gunned down in broad daylight in Croxteth, Liverpool, when a hooded youth cycled by and fired three shots from a handgun.

One struck Rhys in the back as he crossed a pub car park on his way home after football training.

Francis, known as Frank, and Marie admitted perverting the course of justice and were jailed for 18 months in 2009.

Bugs hidden in the couple’s home days after Rhys’ death recorded Marie as she burned a sim card that would expose her son, James Yates, as a gang member, while Frank watched on.

Recordings also revealed that Frank had spoken to his son and Rhys’ killer Sean Mercer about providing an alibi for Mercer.

Both knew Mercer was the killer, that the gun had been supplied by their son but they chose to prolong the agony of Rhys’ family.

Speaking after their sentencing Rhys’ parents, Steve and Melanie, said: “In our eyes Mrs Mercer and Mr and Mrs Yates have always been as guilty as their sons. As adults they should have known right from wrong.

“To intentionally cover up Rhys’ murder and to protect a murderer and his accomplices and prolong our agony is unforgivable.

“As parents themselves they should have understood our pain but instead they chose to ignore it.”

Judge Henry Globe QC had said: “You wasted valuable police time and undermined the prospect of justice.”

The couple’s son James Yates was jailed for seven years for providing the gun.

James Yates was jailed in 2009 for supplying the gun that killed Rhys Jones

Alan Richardson

James Yates was jailed in 2009 for supplying the gun that killed Rhys Jones

What is Little Boy Blue?

Little Boy Boy is a new ITV drama that will follow the fight to bring the killers of 11-year-old Rhys Jones to justice.

The series tells how Sean Mercer and his associates were tracked down by detectives and prosecuted in the courts.

Episode one shows how Rhys’ tragic death occurred and looks at how the police went about gathering evidence to ensure a successful conviction.

Little Boy Blue begins on ITV on Monday April 24, with the first of four one-hour episodes starting at 9pm.

New drama Little Boy Blue based on heartbreaking murder of Rhys Jones




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