The Guardian has some interesting background to the murder of Liam Smith, which took place exactly a year before the murder of 11 year old Rhys Jones.
His funeral last September saw scores of shops and businesses on the estate close for the day amid fears that they would be attacked if they failed to show sufficient "respect". Even at St Teresa's, the infants' school next door to the church where the funeral was held, children were prevented from playing outside, according to the local newspaper.
A police helicopter hovered overhead while officers in bullet-proof vests watched, from a distance, as the funeral procession wound its way through the streets of the 1930s-built council estate. Lining the streets were fellow gang members, all wearing ski caps and black T-shirts bearing the slogan "Smigger - Nogzy Soldier". The only shop to remain open posted security guards on the door.
We can all see who controls the streets of Norris Green then - and who doesn't. Some interesting background on the state of our prisons too.
The court heard how Smith had died after visiting a fellow gang member who was being held on drug charges at Altcourse prison, which was opened in the area 10 years ago and now holds large numbers of youths from Croxteth, Norris Green, and other parts of Liverpool and the north-west.
Another inmate, Ryan Lloyd, a member of the Croxteth Crew, spotted Smith in the visiting area and an argument immediately broke out. Lloyd ran back to his cell and grabbed a contraband mobile phone. The jury was told that he was overheard shouting: "Quick, quick, give us the phone, I'll get the boys up here to pop 'em."
By the time Smith emerged from the prison, gang members had arrived from Croxteth and were crouching in bushes next to the car park. One witness said that among the group he saw a 15-year-old boy armed with a shotgun. Smith was shot moments later.
The court was told that a number of Altcourse inmates helped the gang by smashing up Lloyd's mobile telephone and swallowing the Sim card.
Words fail me - almost.
12 hours ago