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'Shameless' Actress Tina Malone May Face Prison For Sharing Pic 'Of Jon Venables'

'Shameless' Actress Tina Malone May Face Prison For Sharing Pic 'Of Jon Venables'

Shameless actress Tina Malone has risked landing herself in prison after she shared an image purporting to be of the notorious child killer Jon Venables.

The telly star Malone tweeted a picture to her 22,000 followers on Twitter which claimed to reveal the new identity of the man who killed toddler James Bulger.

By doing so, Malone may have breached a court order surrounding the killer and could be found guilty of contempt of court - a sentence punishable by up to two years in prison and/or an unlimited fine.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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Venables and his partner in crime Robert Thompson are protected by a High Court injunction which bans the publication of any information which may lead to the pair being identified.

The injunction was brought into place in 2001 by Judge Elizabeth Butler-Sloss after the pair had served time in prison for the abduction, torture and murder of Bulger due to public backlash against their crime.

As LADbible has previously explained, it is illegal to share a photo claiming to be of the pair, even if it isn't actually of them, taken after February 1993 - the month the pair committed the killing.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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Tina is said to have told the Daily Star Sunday she 'didn't have a clue it was illegal' - a claim which, unfortunately for her, won't protect her from prosecution.

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Actress Tina Malone Defends Sharing Photo Of Child-Killer Jon Venables
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Actress Tina Malone Defends Sharing Photo Of Child-Killer Jon Venables

"What are you going to do... prosecute me for posting a picture?" she told the paper. "I didn't realise. I am not au fait with the law."

There has been renewed interest in Venables' identity ever since he was sent back to prison in January for possessing indecent images of children and a 'paedophile manual'.

He was sentenced to three years and four months, although it will be up to the Parole Board to decide when he can be released on licence due to fact he is already serving life for Bulger's murder.

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Legal experts have previously explained that while you may think it's OK to share pics of Venables if everyone's doing it, that doesn't mean that you'll escape being punished.

"Some people may think that if enough people share these images, that might stop the spotlight from being put on them, but that is not the case," Steve Kuncewicz, a specialist in media law at law firm BLM told The Mirror.

"The only thing that is needed is a printout showing this information has been shared, and that could become evidence in a court room. It leaves a permanent footprint."

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It's not like it's never happened either. In 2013, two men were given suspended sentences for sharing pics they claimed to be of the killers on Facebook. Tina Malone might well be in trouble.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: james bulger, UK News, Celebrity, News, jon venables

Chris Ogden

Chris Ogden is a journalist at LADbible. He graduated from the University of East Anglia with degrees in English Literature and Creative Writing before completing his NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism. Chris has previously written for the independent culture magazine The Skinny, among other publications.