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​Judge Who Gave Killer Jon Venables Lifetime Anonymity Reveals Why Trial Has To Remain Secret

​Judge Who Gave Killer Jon Venables Lifetime Anonymity Reveals Why Trial Has To Remain Secret

The judge who gave James Bulger killer Jon Venables lifetime anonymity has said his child abuse images trial must be kept secret, in order to keep him safe.

"There are people out there who have vowed to kill him," Lady Butler Sloss said.

Venables and fellow killer Robert Thompson were ten years old when they killed and tortured two-year-old James in 1993, having abducted him from a shopping centre in Bootle, Liverpool.

The two were then given life sentences in prison for their crime, but were released with new identities after serving just eight years in jail.

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

"I made that order a very long time ago in the 1990s and know of absolutely no reason to change it," Butler Sloss added.

"We are talking about life and death. If the trial was in public, the press would for certain take photographs of him and then he would be easily identified.
"He remains enormously at risk of being killed, or badly beaten up."

Venables was back behind bars in 2010 for breaking the conditions of his release. It emerged that Venables had downloaded and distributed over 100 images of child abuse - some involving children as young as two. Venables has now been recalled to prison for a second time after more child abuse images were recently discovered on his computer.

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"You cannot supervise somebody in his bedroom or living room looking on the net," Butler Sloss said.

She also added: "The other young man, Thompson, we have never heard of.

"He is obviously going straight."

A few months ago James Bulger's dad, 51-year-old Ralph Bulger, said that Venables should be stripped of his anonymity after the child killer returned to jail following child abuse images being found on his computer.

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Ralph Bulger (Credit: PA)
Ralph Bulger (Credit: PA)

Bulger also said that the now 35-year-old Venables should receive an adult life sentence for the part he played in his two-year-old son's murder in 1993.

"If people saw a photo of him as the adult monster he truly is they would have a very different perception of the person committing the crimes, instead of a picture of so-called childhood innocence," Bulger said in an interview with the Sunday People.

Bulger's mum, Denise Fergus, also criticised the Ministry of Justice and the Probation Service for 'trying to keep quiet' that Venables, now 35, had been returned to prison, saying she was "absolutely fuming that once again I'm last to know".

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: james bulger, uk news, News, jon venables

Jess Hardiman

Jess is a journalist at LADbible who graduated from Manchester University with a degree in Film Studies, English Language and Linguistics - indecisiveness at its finest, right there. She also works for FOODbible and its sister page Seitanists, which are both a safe haven for her to channel a love for homemade pasta, fennel and everything else in between. You can contact Jess at [email protected]