Bulger killers contempt action

The Attorney General is to bring contempt proceedings against people who posted online photographs purporting to show James Bulger killers Jon Venables or Robert Thompson.

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The terms of the Venables-Thompson injunction

Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, of the High Court Family Division, made an unprecedented court order banning publication of any information which could lead to the revelation of Venables and Thompson's new identities. The details of the injunction are:

  • There is an injunction in place which prevents publication of any images or information purporting to identify anyone as Jon Venables or Robert Thompson
  • The terms of the order mean 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
  • Providing details of the new identities of Venables and Thompson or their whereabouts is also prohibited – this order applies to material which is on the internet


Breaches of Bulger killers injunction could lead to prison

A statement released by the Attorney General's Office says there have been images circulating online purporting to be Jon Venables and Robert Thompson. They are in breach of an injunction in place to prevent the identification of the individuals being made public.

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. Anyone who has posted material online which is in breach of the terms of the order should remove this material immediately. Breaches of the order may be a contempt of court punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment.

– The Attorney General's office
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