The jailed murderer of 11-year-old schoolboy Rhys Jones is allegedly ‘making a lot of money’ by controlling drugs inside one of the UK’s toughest jails.
Sean Mercer, 29, is believed to be the ‘drugs kingpin inside’ HMP Frankland, County Durham – managing the distribution of spice, heroin and cocaine, through fear and intimidation, a senior prison source has claimed.
His gang is also thought to control much of the contraband trade inside the prison, which counts Milly Dowler murderer Levi Bellfield and Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe among its inmates.
A source said Mercer’s gang charges up to £100 for an A4 size sheet of paper soaked in the drug spice, the Daily Star reported.
They added: ‘Mercer is the drugs kingpin inside Frankland. He controls the trade through fear but never gets his hands dirty.
‘He has a network of people working for him on both the inside and outside and he’s making a lot of money.’
Mercer has previously boasted of his comfortable life behind bars to pen pals, revealing his enviable job in the gym, his love for cooking, and studying for an Open University degree course.
Mercer got a minimum 22 years for killing Rhys but he only confessed after being convicted, writing in a letter that the killing was a ‘terrible accident’.
Everton fan Rhys was returning from football practice in Croxteth, Liverpool, on 22 August 2007, when he inadvertently walked into a gang fight and was shot in the neck.
Sean Mercer, then aged 16, was a member of the Croxteth Crew and involved in a bitter territorial dispute with the Strand Gang.
When he heard they had strayed onto his ‘patch’, he cycled on his BMX bike to the Fir Tree pub armed with a First World War Smith & Wesson revolver and fired three times at his rivals.
The second shot hit Rhys in the back and he died at the scene, in the arms of his mother, Melanie, who rushed to see her son when she heard the news.
A Ministry Of Justice spokesman told the publication that it would not comment on individual prisoners.