James Bulger’s father loses Jon Venables identity challenge

Jon Venables
Jon Venables was 10 when he and Robert Thompson killed James Bulger.

The father of James Bulger has lost a legal challenge to try to change a lifelong anonymity order for one of his son’s killers.

Ralph Bulger wanted information relating to Jon Venables’ new identity to be made public, after he was jailed for possessing child abuse images.

Venables and Robert Thompson, both 10, killed the two-year-old in 1993.

Mr Bulger’s lawyers argued information about Venables which was “common knowledge” should be made public.

However, president of the family division Sir Andrew McFarlane refused to change the terms of the order, which was designed to protect Venables from “being put to death”.

Sir Andrew said: “There is a strong possibility, if not a probability, that if his identity were known he would be pursued resulting in grave and possibly fatal consequences.”

Under the order, dating back to 2001, Venables and Thompson were granted lifelong anonymity and given new identities when they were released on licence.

James Bulger
James Bulger was two when he was snatched and killed in 1993

 

Mr Bulger had argued certain details about Venables were easily accessible online.

The court was told that information included details of the killer’s identities and former addresses up to 2017 and prisons where he had been detained.

Anyone sharing those details could face prosecution for contempt of court, under the injunction.

Upholding the injunction, Sir Andrew said: “My decision is in no way a reflection on the applicants themselves, for whom there is a profoundest sympathy.

“The reality is that the case for varying the injunction has simply not been made.”

James’ mother, Denise Fergus, did not support the legal battle.

She said: “I’ve always said, I don’t want them dead, because I don’t want blood on my hands. I don’t agree with killing someone.

“All I’ve ever wanted was justice for James and getting that justice would be them two going from young offenders to a proper prison and spend proper time in there.”

Source: bbc.co.uk

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