James Bulger killer said murdering toddler ‘gave him a better education’

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One of James Bulger’s killer has apologised for his part in the gruesome murder.

Robert Thompson, 36, said he had become a “better person” when he made a statement to the Parole Board in 2001.

James Bulger who was beaten to death by Jon Venables and Robert Thompson on a railway line in Liverpool in February 1993. Picture: PA

James Bulger who was beaten to death by Jon Venables and Robert Thompson on a railway line in Liverpool in February 1993. Picture: PA

The statement was revealed for the first time tonight in Channel 5 documentary James Bulger: The New Revelations.

Thompson was ten years old when he tortured and killed James with his friend Jon Venables after abducting the two-year-old from a shopping centre in Merseyside, in 1993.

17 years ago, Thompson said: “I do feel aware that I am now a better person and have had a better life and a better education than if I had not committed the murder.

“There is obviously an irony to this, but it is part of my remorseful feelings as well. I, personally, wish Mr and Mrs Bulger and their families to know that I am desperately sorry for what I did, and aware of the enormity of what I did.

Robert Thompson. Picture: PA Photos

Robert Thompson. Picture: PA Photos

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“Mr and Mrs Bulger have made statements in the press indicating that they would view any statement of remorse by me as a cynical manoeuvre to secure my release. It is difficult, given that, to see how I could ever communicate my remorse in an effective way.”

“I am deeply ashamed of what I did, and of having played a part in this horrible murder.”

The Parole Board decided in June that year to recommend releasing Thompson and Venables, then both 18, on a lifelong licence and they were freed under new identities.

Thompson also said in the statement: “I very much regret that I did nothing to stop it.

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“Jon Venables and I did not speak to each other at all, as I remember, during the attack. And we didn’t speak about it after we left James Bulger on the railway line.”

“At that time of my life, I was completely out of control and spending time with a group of friends whose main occupation was committing crime and causing trouble.

“I was out of control because my life on the streets was better for me than my life at home – there was nothing for me at home.”