Legal action over Bulger photos

High Court action is being taken against users of social media sites accused of breaking an order banning the revelation of the new identities of Merseyside toddler James Bulger's killers, Jon Venables and Robert Thompson.

Live updates

Attorney General comments on Bulger killer ID breach

The Attorney General said after the ruling: "An internet posting takes seconds but can have major consequences.

"These people were fully aware that there is an injunction in place which prevents publication of any images or information claiming to identify anyone as Jon Venables or Robert Thompson, yet they carried on.

"It has been in place for many years and applies to both media organisations and individuals.

"It is irrelevant whether the postings in this case were of who they claimed to be."

Advertisement

  1. National

Tweets with 'Venables picture' removed after an hour

The images were posted by Dean Liddle at 1.42am and removed less than an hour later, after questions were raised that they may have got the wrong people. The Twitter profile of Liddle had 915 followers.

The conversation that followed on the social network site said that it might be Venables and Liddle responds: "I was passed these by a friend if there is doubt about it being him I will remove."

He had earlier said in response to suggestion that child killers should be locked up for life: "I don't think that all child killers should be but after release he was arrested for child porn so agree here."

Advertisement

  1. National

Pair 'tweeted pictures of Venables and Thompson'

The High Court has been told that Neil Harkins and Dean Liddle both breached an injunction put in place when Jon Venables and Robert Thompson were released from custody in order to protect their new identities.

Both posted pictures which purported to be of the two men, who were convicted as boys of killing the toddler James Bulger, on their Twitter sites.

They did this on 14th February, shortly after the 20th anniversary of James Bulger's death.

The court has been told by barrister Melanie Cumberland that the Attorney General brought the proceedings because of the strong public interest.

The importance is of protecting not just Venables and Thompson but anyone else who might correctly or incorrectly identified as them.

  1. National

'Innocent individuals may be wrongly identified'

A statement from Attorney General Dominic Grieve's office when the legal move against two men over information posted on social media sites in relation to the identity of James' Bulger's killers was announced said:

There are many different images circulating online claiming to be of Venables or Thompson; potentially innocent individuals may be wrongly identified as being one of the two men and placed in danger.

The order, and its enforcement, is therefore intended to protect not only Venables and Thompson but also those members of the public who have been incorrectly identified as being one of the two men.

The injunction applies to both media organisations and individuals.

  1. National

High court action over 'Bulger killer Twitter photos'

High Court action is being taken against users of social media sites accused of breaking an order banning the revelation of the new identities of toddler James Bulger's killers, Jon Venables and Robert Thompson.

Jon Venables who tortured and killed two-year-old Jamie Bulger Credit: Police handout

Images recently appeared on Twitter claiming to show an adult Venables, who was released from jail on licence with a new identity in 2001.

Publication of any image or information that leads to the identification of Venables or Thompson is prohibited, under the protection of a court order.

  1. National

Two men to appear at High Court over 'Bulger killer pics'

High Court action is being taken today against two men over information posted on Facebook and Twitter in relation to the identity of James' Bulger's killers.

Jon Venables and Robert Thompson were jailed for life after they abducted and murdered two-year-old James in Liverpool in February 1993.

Released in 2001, an injunction made by a High Court judge prevents publication of any images or information purporting to identify anyone as Jon Venables or Robert Thompson.

  • If a picture claims to be of Venables or Thompson, even if it is not actually them, there will be a breach of the order and that person could face a prison sentence or a fine
  • Details of the new identities of Venables and Thompson or their whereabouts is also prohibited
  • Internet material is covered by the order
Back to top

Latest ITV News reports