Senior police officer in Rhys Jones case criticises ITV’s Little Boy Blue for being “simply wrong”

The broadcaster maintains that the drama was "based on extensive research" and "depicts the officers involved in the murder investigation fairly"


A senior police officer involved in the Rhys Jones murder investigation has criticised her portrayal in Little Boy Blue, describing it as “simply wrong”.


The ITV true-crime drama centred on the murder of 11-year-old Rhys Jones, who was shot dead on his way home from football practice in 2007. The four-part series finished on Monday night to rave reviews.

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

In the series, Gallan, played by Sara Powell, was seen putting pressure on Stephen Graham’s Detective Superintendent Dave Kelly to charge those responsible for Rhys’ murder – and she was also shown refusing him a promotion despite the fact he solved the case and brought those involved to justice.

“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,” 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.”

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


ITV responded, saying: “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.”