Jon Venables was released in 2001. Picture: AP
Jon Venables was released in 2001. Picture: AP

Bid to name James Bulger killer rejected

THE  father of murdered toddler James Bulger - who's trying to expose one of his son's killers identity to the world - has been dealt a major legal blow.

Ralph Bulger along with his brother Jimmy, wanted Jon Venables' new identity to be made public after the killer was jailed for possessing child abuse images.

Venables along with Robert Thompson, both 10 at the time, tortured, killed and tied the body of two-year-old Bulger to a train track in Merseyside, North-West England in 1993 after he was snatched from a shopping centre in Bootle.

Jon Venables was released from a life sentence in 2001. Picture: AP
Jon Venables was released from a life sentence in 2001. Picture: AP

Both killers were granted lifelong taxpayer-funded anonymity and given new identities when they were released on licence from life sentences in 2001.

However certain details and pictures of the infamous pair have been illegally circulated on social media, leading to a number of arrests.

In his legal battle Ralph argued that information about Venables which was already "common knowledge" should be made public, adding that certain details about Venables were easily accessible online.

However, overnight, the UK's president of the family division Sir Andrew McFarlane refused to change the terms of the order, saying it was a "wholly exceptional case" which was designed to protect the "uniquely notorious" Venables from "being put to death".

According to The Guardian, he 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 …

 

Ralph Bulger said his son's killer must be identified.
Ralph Bulger said his son's killer must be identified.

 

Bulger with his son James in 1991.
Bulger with his son James in 1991.

"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."

Bulger's mother Denise Fergus told the BBC she doesn't support the legal bid, saying she does not want "blood on her hands".

"Eight years in a young offenders (institution) is no sentence at all. Especially when it concerned them two, they got the best of everything," she told the BBC last year,

"They had better lives, in my opinion, when they killed James. They got everything they asked for: bedrooms, they could choose the bedding, the curtains, the carpets, they probably never had that at home.

"But to this day, 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."

Venables was jailed for three years and four months last year after admitting making indecent images of children and possessing a "paedophile manual".

Solicitor-advocate Robin Makin, who represented the Bulgers in their legal bid, told the high court that something had "gone wrong" with Venables' rehabilitation, according to The Guardian.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain in June, Bulger explained why he was taking legal action.

"It's to make sure other people are safe, to make sure he doesn't do it to any more children so the public can be a bit safer," he said.

"He's still a threat to children, he's been recalled twice.

"And it's just escalating, what he's doing - the extent of it, it's disgusting."

The identity of Robert Thompson has also be suppressed. Picture: AP
The identity of Robert Thompson has also be suppressed. Picture: AP

He added: "He's 35 now, he's a man. He is more of a threat than ever in my eyes."

Following the Judgement overnight, Bulger's lawyer Makin slammed the decision.

"The authorities seem to be hellbent on protecting JV (Venables) regardless of the risk to others, and this has been a primary driving force behind Ralph and Jimmy's application," Mr Makin told reporters outside court.


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