Viewers were left “sobbing” and “heartbroken” after watching a TV dramatisation of the murder of schoolboy Rhys Jones.
Harrowing scenes in ITV’s Little Boy Blue saw the 11-year-old gunned down on his way home from football practice in Croxteth, Liverpool, in 2007.
— ITV (@ITV) April 24, 2017
Viewers said it was “hard to watch” as actress Sinead Keenan, who played Rhys’s mother Melanie, held him as he lay bleeding on the ground.
— Tatt (@toothfairy564) April 24, 2017
I have not stopped crying since this started. So painful to watch. So tragic #littleboyblue
— Francesca Turner (@turnerps) April 24, 2017
Hundreds of tweets were from people saying they were “heartbroken”.
Kissed both my boys and tucked them up extra tight tonight 💙💙 Every parents worst nightmare and pain #littleboyblue 😥 xx
— Sally Kershaw-strode (@mustangsally82) April 24, 2017
Many viewers wrote messages sending their thoughts to Rhys’s parents Melanie and Steve, who gave their blessing to the programme.
Such a tough watch. Every parents worst nightmare, god bless his Mum, Dad and Brother. That's something you never get over. #LittleBoyBlue
— Jacqueline E. White (@Jacqui_Blanco) April 24, 2017
Others expressed their anger at killer Sean Mercer, who was 16 at the time.
I think Mercer will be out in about 10 years, too. Justice? #littleboyblue
— MLW (@19MLW85) April 24, 2017
Taboo actor Stephen Graham played Detective Superintendent Dave Kelly in the programme, which explored the impact of the crime amid a wave of gang violence.
The drama was written by Jeff Pope, executive producer of The Moorside, about the faked kidnapping of schoolgirl Shannon Matthews.