Jail warning over Bulger killers’ identity case

Killers Jon Venables and Robert Thompson as children. Picture: PA
Killers Jon Venables and Robert Thompson as children. Picture: PA
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SOCIAL media users have been warned of the consequences of breaking an injunction that bans revealing the new identities of James Bulger’s killers.

The High Court in London said nine-month prison sentences, suspended for 15 months, imposed on Dean Liddle and Neil Harkins were not only to punish them but also to deter others.

Sir John Thomas, president of the Queen’s Bench Division, said the court would take the exceptional course of suspending the sentences in this case, but there was little prospect of any offender avoiding a very substantial immediate custodial sentence if there was any future similar publication.

Liddle and Harkins posted images on Twitter and Facebook in February, two days after the 20th anniversary of James’s murder, that purported to depict Jon Venables and Robert Thompson as adults – breaching a January 2001 injunction.

The injuction, binding globally and imposed before Venables and Thompson were released, prohibits the solicitation or publication of any information purporting to identify their physical appearance.

The killers abducted James on 12 February, 1993, then tortured and murdered him. His body was found two days later.