Janette Mercer, 49, was yesterday given a three-year sentence for obstructing the police. Her son Sean murdered 11-year old Rhys Jones as he walked through a car park in Liverpool. In a way it was an accident, he was actually trying to kill someone else; Rhys was an innocent bystander. The police had CCTV evidence of a young man riding away from the scene of the crime on a distinctive mountain bike. Mrs Mercer lied to the police saying that Sean's bike was quite different. Eventually the bike was found dumped at the edge of town and was traced to Sean by DNA evidence. The Daily Mail tells us that Mrs Mercer was working as a prostitute during her son's trial.
She was not the only one sent to prison over the cover-up. The parents of another gang member also lied and they were gaoled.
It is clear that there was an subculture of crime and disdain for the law in that part of Liverpool, but notwithstanding that, it set me thinking about how far one should or would go to protect one's children. I would be interested in what any readers think. A verse to ponder on comes from Isaiah 49:15: "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!"