James Bulger's Mum Denise Fergus Slams Plan To Give Child Killers Lifetime Anonymity

17/03/2014 13:14 | Updated 20 May 2015

James Bulger's mum Denise FergusWENN

James Bulger's mum Denise Fergus has slammed calls for child killers to be given lifetime anonymity.

Two-year-old James was kidnapped and killed by 10-year-olds Jon Venables and Robert Thompson in 1993.

But now a High Court judge has been asked to consider banning the media from ever naming killers who are under 18 when they are convicted.

Denise said it was wrong to hand a 'get out of jail free card' to anyone jailed for serious crimes.

The 46-year-old told the Liverpool Echo: "It's sickening that they are even considering this. Not only is it an insult to the victims, it's dangerous and unjust.

"It would send a message to children and teenagers that they can commit horrific crimes without facing the consequences.

"They could kill safe in the knowledge that they will get looked after in a care home and then be released with no-one ever able to know or tell what they did.

"If the courts accepted this, a 17-year-old could murder a child and no-one could ever say or write his name.

"It would be a terrible injustice to gag victims like that. You would naturally have angry relatives being sent to jail for naming killers after they turn 18.

"The victims should not be forgotten. It's gut-wrenching for me to learn that they are again talking about bending over backwards to protect young killers."

Denise added: "It's completely unworkable. If a young killer's name was used in a tweet, his anonymity would be broken.

"They would have to give him a new false identity, like they have with Venables and Thompson."

The request to ban naming murderers under 18 was made by barrister Joel Bennathan QC.

He said the move would give child criminals 'the space and protection to grow, to learn and to put their past behind them'.

High Court judge Sir Brian Leveson – chair of the recent inquiry into press standards – must now consider the suggestion.


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