The Attorney General is investigating claims the new identity of child killer Jon Venables was illegally leaked on social media.
Jon Venables and Robert Thompson were both 10 when they abducted, tortured and killed two-year-old James Bulger in 1993, after abducting him from a shopping centre in Bootle, Liverpool.
They were released after serving eight years – not in adult prison – for their murderous crime in 2001, after an anonymity order was put in place, giving them both new identities.
A spokesman for the Attorney General’s office told the Guardian:
We have received a complaint that the anonymity order has been breached and we are investigating.
Breaking the injunction carries a punishment of up to two years in prison and in 2013 two men who posted images purporting to be of Venables and Thompson were given nine-month sentences, suspended for 15 months.
The tragic case of Jamie Bulger is imprinted in the collective mind of the nation. In 1993, the two 10-year-old boys led Bulger along a canal and down a towpath before battering him with an iron bar.
They poured paint into his eyes, stoned him and hit him with bricks before leaving him on a railway line to be hit a train.
After the two child killers served their time, a decision was made to spend £5 million on rehabilitation for the convicts and to protect the identities of Venables and Thompson.
In 2010 it emerged Venables, 32, was jailed for breaking the conditions of his release by downloading and distributing more than 100 images of child abuse – some involving victims as young as two.
He is now back behind bars after more abuse images with discovered on his computer.
Last week James’ mother Denise Fergus released a statement saying:
Venables has now proved beyond any doubt what a vile, perverted psychopath he has always been.
James’ father, Ralph Bulger (pictured above), 51, is now calling for Venables to be stripped of his anonymity, stating his recent crimes are evidence rehabiliation has failed.
Given the nature of Venables recent child sex offences, Bulger also feels the murder case should be reexamined buy justice chiefs and look into the possibility his son’s murder was sexually motivated.
In a heart-wrenching interview given to Channel 5 Denise and her husband Stuart have revealed they have been left ‘paranoid’ by internet trolls.
Mrs Fergus said:
I sometimes think, ‘Is it a member of their family or could it be them?’ Because they could easily get in touch with me.
They’ve been told not to but what’s to stop them writing to me on social media and pretending to be somebody else?
It’s really scary and the thought often goes through my mind it could be one of them.
In July last year, Chloe Cowan, 22, pleaded guilty under Section 4 of the 1997 Protection Of Harassment Act of to causing Mrs Fergus ‘serious alarm’ when she pretended to be James’ ghost online, and was jailed for three years.
On the other hand, during the eight years the murderers formerly known as Venables and Thompson spent jailed, not a single day of it was in an adult prison.
February 12, 2018 will mark 25 years since the death of James Bulger. Our thoughts are with his family.