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Who is Sean Mercer? Rhys Jones’ killer jailed for life after schoolboy’s murder in 2007

THE tragic murder of schoolboy Rhys Jones by gang member Sean Mercer a decade ago shocked the country. The investigation into the 2007 killing, which resulted in Mercer being jailed for a minimum o…

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THE tragic murder of schoolboy Rhys Jones by gang member Sean Mercer a decade ago shocked the country.

The investigation into the 2007 killing, which resulted in Mercer being jailed for a minimum of 22 years, was the subject of the four-part ITV drama Little Boy Blue earlier last year.

 Sean Mercer gunned down 11-year-old Rhys Jones as he shot at rival gang membersGetty Images Sean Mercer gunned down 11-year-old Rhys Jones as he shot at rival gang members

Who is Sean Mercer?

Everton fan Rhys, 11, had been on his way home from football practice when he was caught in the deadly gangland crossfire in the Liverpool suburb of Croxteth in August 2007.

Mercer was a gun-obsessed 16-year-old and a leading member of the Croxteth Young Guns gang when he fatally shot Rhys with a stray bullet from a battered World War One revolver.

None of his intended targets was hit.

During his trial, Liverpool Crown Court heard that Mercer’s ‘Crocky Crew’ were involved in a turf war with the Strand Gang, aka the ‘Nogga Dogz’, from the neighbouring Norris Green estate.

There had been more than 20 reports of shots from cars or bikes between 2004 and 2007.

Two months before he shot Rhys, Mercer had been seen brandishing a gun while riding on the back of a motorcycle in a rival gang’s territory.

And on the day of the fatal shooting he was under a three-year Asbo for terrorising security guards at a sports centre.

When told that three Strand Gang members had been seen on Crocky Crew territory, Mercer raced there on a BMX, armed with the Smith & Wesson .455 revolver.

He fired three shots – the second of which hit Rhys in the back.

The youngster died at the scene, in the arms of his mother Melanie who rushed to the scene when she heard the news.

 Mercer has moved around the prison service ever since he was found guilty of Rhys’s murder in 2008PA:Press Association Mercer has moved around the prison service ever since he was found guilty of Rhys’s murder in 2008

Mercer fled, hiding at a friend’s and calling on gang members to help him escape capture.

He was driven to a lock-up garage where the clothes he had been wearing were burned and his body washed with petrol to remove any traces of gunshot residue. He gave the pistol to a friend to hide.

Mercer was arrested within days but denied murder, claiming he had been at a friend’s watching a DVD when Rhys was killed.

It took eight months for Mercer to be charged. When his case came to court, in December 2008, the jury convicted him unanimously.

A string of his fellow gang members were also jailed for trying to protect Mercer.

His mum Janette, a £50-a-night prostitute, was jailed for three years for lying to police investigating her son.

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Is St George’s Day a bank holiday in 2018, what date is it and what is the story of the patron saint of England?

HE’s the patron saint of England and famously slayed a dragon, but surprisingly not many people can tell you much more about Saint George. We celebrate his life on Saint George’s Day ev…

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HE's the patron saint of England and famously slayed a dragon, but surprisingly not many people can tell you much more about Saint George.

We celebrate his life on Saint George's Day every April – here is the lowdown on the English legend and the St George's Cross…

 Saint George's Day is the feast day of Saint GeorgeGetty Images Saint George's Day is the feast day of Saint George

What is Saint George’s Day and when is it?

The feast day of Saint George is celebrated by various Christian Churches and several countries and cities where Saint George is the patron saint – including England.

The day is celebrated on April 23 each year and this is the date traditionally accepted of his death in AD 303.

While St Patrick's Day and St Andrew's Day are bank holidays in Ireland and Scotland respectively, St George's Day is not a bank holiday.

Who was Saint George and where did the legend of the dragon come from?

Although Saint George is England’s patron saint, George would likely have been a soldier somewhere in the eastern Roman Empire, probably in what is now Turkey – if he ever existed.

He is also the patron saint of: Ethiopia, Georgia and Portugal, and cities such as Freiburg, Moscow and Beirut.

 Saint George is the patron saint of England - as well as Ethiopia, Georgia and Portugal, and cities such as Freiburg, Moscow and BeirutPA:Press Association Saint George is the patron saint of England – as well as Ethiopia, Georgia and Portugal, and cities such as Freiburg, Moscow and Beirut

According to legend, George was martyred for his faith under Emperor Diocletian in the early fourth century, and there is a major shrine dedicated to him in Lod, Israel.

The earliest legend that features Saint George slaying a dragon dates to the 11th century.

The tale may have started simply as a way to symbolise the triumph of good over evil.

But, the well-known story mainly comes down to the Golden Legend – a popular collection of saints’ lives written in the 13th century.

 Popular customs include flying the St George's Cross flagGetty Images Popular customs include flying the St George's Cross flag

According to one version of the story, a town in Libya had a small lake inhabited by a dragon infected with the plague.

Many of the townsfolk were being killed by the dragon so they started feeding it two sheep a day to appease it.

When the town ran out of sheep, legend has it that the king devised a lottery system to feed the hungry dragon local children instead.

But, one day his own daughter was chosen and as she was being led down to the lake Saint George happened to ride past.

The story says that George offered to slay the dragon  but only if the people converted to Christianity.

They did, and the king later built a church where the dragon was slain.

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Shoreham air crash pilot Andy Hill arrives at court to face 11 manslaughter charges

THE pilot whose plane crashed during the Shoreham Airshow disaster, killing 11 men, is due to appear in court. Andrew Hill, 54, of Sandon, Hertfordshire, faces 11 counts of manslaughter by gross ne…

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THE pilot whose plane crashed during the Shoreham Airshow disaster, killing 11 men, is due to appear in court.

Andrew Hill, 54, of Sandon, Hertfordshire, faces 11 counts of manslaughter by gross negligence and one count of endangering an aircraft under air navigation laws.

 Andrew Hill arrives at court this morningDoug Seeburg – The Sun Andrew Hill arrives at court this morning

He today arrived at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

The crash occurred when a vintage Hawker Hunter jet plummeted on to the A27 in West Sussex during a loop-the-loop stunt at the Shoreham Airshow on August 22, 2015.

RAF instructor Hill was thrown clear of the aircraft in the crash but survived after sustaining serious injuries.

Maurice Abrahams, 76, Graham Mallinson, 72, Mark Trussler, 54, Mark Reeves, and Anthony Brightwell, both 53, Dylan Archer, 46, Richard Smith, 26, Matt Jones, 24, and Daniele Polito, Matthew Grimstone and Jacob Schilt, all 23, were all killed.

 Flames erupt from the site of the fatal accident at Shoreham-by-SeaAlamy Flames erupt from the site of the fatal accident at Shoreham-by-Sea

 

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British Airways hostess who moaned about ‘exhausting’ job quits to become Babestation-style webcam porn star

A FORMER British Airways air hostess has sacked off her “exhausting” job to become a BABESTATION-style webcam porn star. Laura Birbeck, 27, from Worcester, is the poster girl of live st…

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A FORMER British Airways air hostess has sacked off her "exhausting" job to become a BABESTATION-style webcam porn star.

Laura Birbeck, 27, from Worcester, is the poster girl of live strip show firms and has a dedicated fan base online.

 Laura Birbeck, 27, from Worcester, sends fans wild online when she works as a webcam porn starInstagram Laura Birbeck, 27, from Worcester, sends fans wild online when she works as a webcam porn star

She used to work for the airline and was based at Heathrow Airport, travelling around the world and sharing snaps on social media of her in her uniform.

However her social media posts are now far more risque after the surprising career change.

Speaking to Mail Online, a former colleague said: "I'm not surprised that she's gone into this line of work because it's what she's always been interested in doing.

"We were working together last year and she told me that she took a web camera and laptop with her on every flight.

 She used to work for British Airways - sharing snaps of herself in the conservative uniform She used to work for British Airways – sharing snaps of herself in the conservative uniform  ... but her social media posts are now far more risqueTwitter … but her social media posts are now far more risque  Laura used to moan of her 'tiring' job - and now says she has much more funTwitter Laura used to moan of her 'tiring' job – and now says she has much more fun

"When she got to her hotel room after work she'd connect the camera up to the laptop and start to perform. She'd do it whenever she had some free time wherever she was in the world.

"But good luck to her, being an air stewardess isn't for everyone and it can be quite exhausting work. If she has found something that she likes doing and she can make it work for her than fair play I say."

Webcam girls earn money by stripping online, with viewers paying them in tokens.

 Laura back in the day when she was an air hostessFacebook Laura back in the day when she was an air hostess  She also shares racy snaps on her personal social media pagesFacebook She also shares racy snaps on her personal social media pages

Of her former life she tweeted: "When I was just a webcam model I felt so stress free, just working on my own pace and living comfortably.

"As an air hostess I have no time to myself and it's financially draining.

"I am so done with this! Back to being a full time model I think."

She said that pals have been hugely supportive of her career change.

 Speaking about her new job, she said: 'When I was just a webcam model I felt so stress free, just working on my own pace and living comfortably'Instagram Speaking about her new job, she said: 'When I was just a webcam model I felt so stress free, just working on my own pace and living comfortably'

Miss Birbeck added: "I feel very lucky I have the best and most open minded family and friends.

"They have shown me true support.

"And I am so blessed to have that.

 The 27-year-old loves teasing fans online on social mediaTwitter The 27-year-old loves teasing fans online on social media  She's traded in the jetset lifestyle for the webcam gig - but says she couldn't be happierFacebook She's traded in the jetset lifestyle for the webcam gig – but says she couldn't be happier  Pals have also been very positive about her career changeInstagram Pals have also been very positive about her career change  She said her friends 'have shown me true support. And I am so blessed to have that'Twitter She said her friends 'have shown me true support. And I am so blessed to have that'

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