THE callous killer of schoolboy Rhys Jones is set to be quizzed by cops over a plot to smuggle dozens of illegal phones into jail.
Killer Sean Mercer is set to be quizzed by cops over a plot to smuggle dozens of illegal phones into jail
Innocent Rhys, 11, was blasted to death as Mercer opened fire on rival teen gangstersCredit: PA
The official was arrested last week at the category B jail near Market Harborough, Leics.
It is understood a stash of 12 phones, SIM cards and tobacco was later found at his home.
Sources said the shocking security breach had been exposed after a routine search of Mercer’s cell.
One told The Sun: “Prison officers found a handset as they span his belongings. It was their great work that found it — and that set this whole thing in motion.
“The phone was interrogated and a number was found tracing back to a serving prison officer.
“Police were called in and things spiralled from there. For the moment enquiries are focusing on one particular officer. But major questions are now being asked.”
He now faces a switch back to tough category A conditions in the coming days.
But his time in custody has been littered with controversy.
While on remand for Rhys’ murder Mercer was caught sketching pictures of guns.
Days after being sentenced he launched an attack on a prison guard and had to be restrained.
In 2009 he stabbed another con with a makeshift knife and in 2012 illegal steroids were found in his cell.
But his hopes were dashed when we revealed he had been texting a girl using an illegal mobile.
Mercer traded Instagram messages and even posted a pic of him grinning in a £120 Ralph Lauren jumper.
He was later moved to Gartree and had hoped the switch would pave the way for a parole bid in 2030.
Mercer was 16 when he carried out the crime that shocked the nation.
Innocent Rhys was blasted to death as Mercer opened fire on rival teen gangsters.
The Prison Service said : “We can confirm this has been referred to the police for investigation.”
Mercer is just the latest con to flout the prison system or enjoy luxury behind bars.
JON VENABLES — The Sun told how the 40-year-old killer of toddler James Bulger got his own suite at HMP Woodhill, a rowing machine and guitar lessons paid for by taxpayers. Watching him 24/7 cost the public £279,000 in overtime in 18 months.
DALE CREGAN — in 2015 the double cop killer was segregated from other cons after being found running a crime empire from an illegal mobile. The Manchester gangland hitman, 39, was also caught with marijuana.
IAN WATKINS — the paedophile rock star was busted for hiding a mobile phone in his pants in 2018. Ex-Lostprophets frontman Watkins, 45, got another ten months on top of his 35-year jail term in 2019 after being convicted of illegally possessing the banned handset.
WARREN TEVLIN — in 2018 the burglar bragged on Snapchat and Facebook about his life of luxury inside HMP Forest Bank. Tevlin, 39, showed off a £540 iPhone, £115 Gucci flip-flops and Egyptian cotton sheets.
Mercer was 16 when he carried out the crime and is serving life with a minimum of 22 yearsCredit: Handout
Mercer was slung into segregation after the alleged corruption ring at HMP Gartree was smashedCredit: PA:Empics Sport