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Little Boy Blue: Senior officer criticises Rhys Jones ITV drama

image copyrightITV
image captionSara Powell played Patricia Gallan in ITV's Little Boy Blue

A senior police officer involved in the Rhys Jones murder investigation has criticised her portrayal in a TV drama, describing it as "simply wrong".

ITV's Little Boy Blue centred on the murder of Rhys, who was 11 when he was shot in Liverpool in August 2007.

Patricia Gallan, who was assistant chief constable of Merseyside Police at the time, said details in the show "should not be taken as fact".

ITV said the four-part drama was fair and based on "extensive research".

In the series, Mrs Gallan, played by Sara Powell, was seen putting pressure on Detective Superintendent Dave Kelly, played by Stephen Graham, who led the investigation.

image copyrightITV
image captionThe ITV series concluded on Monday evening after four episodes

"The ITV programme is a drama and although based on a real event the details by their very nature are dramatised and should not be taken as fact," Mrs Gallan told the Liverpool Echo.

"Indeed, much of the drama concerning my character is simply wrong. Crucially, my briefings were with the detective chief superintendent in the case and not Dave Kelly.

"There was a whole command structure involved in this case, not a single detective, and all of us wanted to see justice for Rhys' family and the people of Merseyside."

Mrs Gallan is now an assistant commissioner in the Metropolitan Police and the most senior female ethnic minority officer in British policing history.

ITV said: "Little Boy Blue is a drama based on extensive research with the Jones family and many others involved in the case. We are satisfied that it depicts the officers involved in the murder investigation fairly."

image copyrightITV

Little Boy Blue, which concluded on Monday, was well received by fans and critics.

The Telegraph's Michael Hogan called Monday's climax "a satisfying conclusion to this respectful rendering of an unbearably sad story".

He added: "Little Boy Blue is an admirable achievement of which the channel, Rhys's family and the city of Liverpool can be proud."

Writing in The Radio Times, Ellie Harrison said the series "shone with the best of them".

She wrote: "It chose realism over sensationalism at every step... Here's to more true-crime dramas like this - and more real, regional talent."

image copyrightITV
image captionLittle Boy Blue was made with the blessing of Rhys's family

In The Liverpool Echo, Paddy Shennan wrote: "It was a harrowing and heartbreaking story - but it was a story that had to be told, and it was told so well.

"Everybody involved in this excellent series should feel proud of themselves - but nobody should feel more proud than Rhys's family, for allowing their story to be told."

Earlier in the series, The Guardian described Little Boy Blue as "very real" and incredibly moving".

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Related Topics

  • Liverpool
  • Television
  • ITV