James Bulger’s killer Jon Venables’ new identity should be revealed because he has broken the law twice since it was given to him says murdered boy’s father
The father of murdered toddler James Bulger is bringing a High Court case in a bid to remove Jon Venables’ right to anonymity. Pictured: Venables after the murder
The father and uncle of murdered toddler James Bulger have launched a legal challenge against an order made almost two decades ago which has allowed killer Jon Venables to live under a cloak of anonymity.
Details of an application by Ralph and Jimmy Bulger was aired at the High Court for the first time at a hearing in London on Tuesday.
Sir James Munby, the most senior family judge in England and Wales, was asked to deal with preliminary issues in the case which relates to an order originally granted in 2001.
As the proceedings got under way, Sir James, President of the High Court’s Family Division, confirmed that James Bulger’s mother Denise was not involved in the application.
The father and uncle are represented by solicitor-advocate Robin Makin, who told the judge he needed material relating to the proceedings dating back 18 or 19 years to prepare his case properly.
Mr Makin said it was because the injunction was granted on the basis that Venables was rehabilitated and would not re-offend.
The situation has changed as he has since been convicted on two separate occasions, most recently in February.
Two-year-old James Bulger (right) was abducted and murdered in Merseyside in February 1993. His father (left) has previously said ‘secret justice is no justice’ in relation to his killer
Venables has been living anonymously since his release from a life sentence for the kidnap, torture and murder of two-year-old James Bulger 25 years ago.
James was murdered by 10-year-olds Venables and Robert Thompson after they snatched him from a shopping centre in Bootle, Merseyside, in February 1993.
Both Venables and Thompson were later granted lifelong anonymity by a High Court judge.
Following release they have lived under new identities.
Robert Thompson was also locked up over James’ killing
But Venables has since been convicted and sent back to jail over indecent images of children.
In February, he was jailed for three years and four months after admitting surfing the dark web for extreme child abuse images and possessing a ‘sickening’ paedophile manual.
He was charged after police found more than 1,000 indecent images on his computer.
It was the second time he had been caught with such images and when he was arrested he told police he was plagued by ‘stupid urges’.
James’s mother, Denise Fergus, and father, Ralph Bulger, attended the Old Bailey when Venables was sentenced in February.
Ms Fergus said on Tuesday that she is not involved in the High Court proceedings.
In a statement she said: ‘I understand the motivation for the application, but my concern is that if Venables were known by his own name, it could lead to vigilante action and innocent people being hurt. Beyond that, I have no further comment to make.’
Timeline: James Bulger’s murder and the conviction of his killers
A surveillance camera shows the abduction of two-year-old James Bulger from the Bootle Strand shopping mall February 12 1993