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The killer of schoolboy Rhys Jones has been attacked behind bars after allegedly boasting about the murder.
Sean Mercer, who was 16 when he shot the 11-year-old dead, was set upon by fellow inmates in a rage at Category A jail HMP Wakefield.
Mercer, now 32, was said to be “mouthing off” about how he could do what he wanted and “didn’t care” about killing youngster Rhys – infuriating other inmates who launched the assault, which had to be stopped by prison guards.
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An insider said: “Blows were raining down on him, prisoners were furious he was boasting about it.
“Mercer wants to be a big boy behind bars – he is known for getting up to stuff, trying to sneak in contraband and that.
“But he has a mouth as well, and he started shouting it about in front of the wrong people at the wrong time when he hasn’t even been here that long.
“Many people think it was long overdue for what he did to that baby.”
The Daily Star Sunday understands tensions were high in the prison after it was the 15th anniversary of Rhys’ death at the same time youngster Olivia Pratt-Korbel was killed by a gunman in Liverpool this year.
The insider continued: “There’s been a lot of chat about the shootings and obviously Mercer is in for killing a little boy. Him acting like he didn’t care is what kicked things off – people don’t take kindly to people who are in for hurting kids.
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“He hasn’t always been at this prison, he was trying to exert some authority. But he’s had a shock, because people in here won’t stand for it.”
Mercer, ordered to serve a minimum of 22 years back in 2008, was moved to HMP Gartree in the Midlands after serving time originally at HMP Frankland, but was recently moved again after being accused of being part of a corruption ring.
It is reported Mercer faces allegations of organising the payment of thousands in bungs to a prison officer to bring in contraband.
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It is alleged 12 phones, SIM cards and tobacco were later found at his home.
A source said: “Prison officers found a handset as they searched his belongings. A number was found tracing back to a serving prison officer.”
Rhys Jones was caught in the crossfire between two criminal gangs as he walked across a car park in Croxteth, Liverpool in 2007.
The Ministry of Justice said it would not comment on individual prisoners.
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- Daily Star Sunday
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