NEWS
01/05/2018 12:00 BST | Updated 01/05/2018 15:55 BST

James Bulger's Family Brings Court Challenge Over Killer Jon Venables's Anonymity Order

Jon Venables was granted lifelong anonymity in 2001.

PA
The family of James Bulger are challenging the court order granting their son's killer, Jon Venables, pictured above, lifelong anonymity

The family of James Bulger will today challenge a court order allowing their son’s killer, Jon Venables, to continue to live anonymously.

Venables has been living anonymously since his release from a life sentence for the kidnap, torture and murder of James 25 years ago. 

The High Court proceeding involves an application by James’ father, Ralph Bugler and uncle Jimmy Bulger, to discharge an injunction which “prevents identification of the person previously known as Jon Venables”.

James’ mother, Denise Fergus, is not involved in the action.

The two family members are represented by solicitor-advocate Robin Makin  and the matte is being heard in open-court by the most senior family judge in England and Wales - the President of the Family Court Division, Sir James Munby.

Ralph Bulger has previously called for Venables to be “identified in court like every other criminal”, and for an up-to-date picture of him to be published

James, then two, 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 and following their release in 2001 lived under new identities. 

Reuters
James Bulger was two-years-old when he was lured from a shopping mall before being tortured and killed in 1993

Makin told the hearing that he needed material relating to the proceedings dating back 18 or 19 years to prepare his case properly.

Sir James said he did not understand the relevance of that material to the application.

Makin said it was because the injunction was granted on the basis that Venables was rehabilitated and would not re-offend.

The situation had changed as he had since been convicted on two separate occasions.

In February, Venables was sent back to jail for 40 months for viewing extreme child abuse images and possessing a “paedophile manual”.

It was the second time Venables had been caught with such images, and when he was arrested he told police he was plagued by “stupid urges”.

Venables was also recalled to prison in 2010 for accessing child abuse images. 

Denise Fergus has previously called for a public inquiry into the Venables case which is backed by a petition signed by over 200,000 people