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Daily Record
Daily Record
Adam Everett & Lewis Moynihan

Teen who walked free after bottling ex-girlfriend shot 15-year-old just a month later

A teenager who walked free after bottling his ex-girlfriend, then shot a man and a 15-year-old girl just a month later, was forced to confess after an electronic tag placed him at the scene of the crime. Rio Jones, 19, was placed at the shooting due to the tag he was enforced to wear after dodging jail for an assault on his former partner, reports the Liverpool Echo.

Liverpool Crown Court heard in January of this year that Jones and his 'significantly' older ex-girlfriend had ended their relationship in 'acrimony'. At around 5am on November 21, 2021, the pair had a 'chance encounter' in the city centre in which CCTV showed them arguing.

The victim was then heard repeatedly begging for help and screaming: "Rio, Rio, no, no". A "wildly angry" Jones then threw his coat and bag on the ground before throwing a punch at his former partner as a bouncer attempted to hold him back. The teen was ushered away from the victim before returning minutes later with a bottle that he had found in a gutter.

The victim attempted to escape Jones, but the brute landed "a hefty, hefty blow which struck her on the blade of her right shoulder". The assault left the victim with a displaced fracture to her shoulder blade and a deep cut with pieces of glass from the bottle inside it.

The thug then yelled abuse including the phrase: "why don't you go back to your own country?" at a passer by. Later, Jones admitted to wounding and a racially aggravated public order offence.

Rio Jones (Liverpool ECHO)

But Recorder David O’Mahony took an "exceptional course" in sparing him from prison. Jones was instead given an 18-month imprisonment suspended for two years and told to complete 180 hours of unpaid work as well as being handed a rehabilitation activity requirement of up to 30 days and a restraining order.

Crucially, the judge imposed a curfew on the teen. The tag he was made to wear on his ankle as a result proved vital after he shot a 20-year-old man and a 15-year-old girl on Upper Warwick Street in Toxteth on the evening on March 1, just shy of a month after he had walked free from the dock.

David Temkin KC, prosecuting, told the court: "When the police looked at the tag evidence, it showed that the defendant was at the scene of the shooting. The tag around his ankle transmitted signals that were registered at the home monitoring units of other unconnected people in Toxteth who also happened to be subject to a court-imposed curfew.

"Those people had curfews at addresses that happened to be in the near vicinity of the shooting. The records that were generated prove that this defendant was in the relevant part of Upper Warwick Street just at the time that a gunman opened fire."

In yet another coincidence, the target of the shooting was also wearing a tag at the time. Both his and Jones' devices showed the exact same movements when the attack occurred.

The latter had denied he was the gunman until only days before his trial began. But the strength of this evidence, as well video footage and mobile phone data, left him with no option other than to admit that he was the shooter.

The now 19-year-old pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. A jury then found Jones guilty of attempted murder and inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent.

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