Father and uncle of James Bulger in High Court challenge to killer’s injunction

A legal challenge brought by the father and uncle of James Bulger over the lifelong anonymity granted to killer Jon Venables is set to be heard at the High Court.

Ralph and Jimmy Bulger are challenging a worldwide ban, made in 2001, on revealing the identity of Venables.

Venables has been living anonymously since his release from a life sentence for the kidnap, torture and murder of two-year-old James in February 1993.

The toddler was killed by Venables and Robert Thompson, both aged 10, after they snatched him from a shopping centre in Bootle, Merseyside.

They were both later granted lifelong anonymity and, following release, have lived under new identities.

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The James Bulger murder
James Bulger's father and uncle bring legal challenge over Jon Venables' lifelong anonymity
James Bulger's father and uncle bring legal challenge over Jon Venables' lifelong anonymity
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Denise Fergus, the mother of murdered toddler James Bulger and her husband Stuart (right), listen as a statement is read out by Chris Johnson (left),the chairman of the James Bulger Memorial Trust, outside the Old Bailey in London, after one of his killers, Jon Venables, has been jailed at the Old Bailey for 40 months after he admitted having more than a thousand indecent images of children and a child abuse manual.
Denise Fergus, the mother of murdered toddler James Bulger, with her book 'I Let Him Go' during its launch in The Suites Hotel in Knowsley, Merserside.
Ralph Bulger, the father of James Bulger, arrives at Liverpool Crown Court to make a victim personal statement to Jon Venables' parole board.
The grave of murdered James Bulger in Kirkdale Cemetary in Liverpool. Jon Venables - one of the killers of the toddler - was recalled to custody last week after breaching the terms of his release from prison.
Shoppers at the New Strand shopping centre in Bootle, Liverpool, pay their repects to James Bulger who went missing 10 years ago. Thousands of Merseysiders are expected to observe a one-minute silence to mark the tenth anniversary of James's murder. * ... and the flag over the Town Hall in Liverpool will fly at half-mast in memory of the two-year-old Kirkby boy whose battered body was found on an isolated railway line. His schoolboy killers, Robert Thompson and John Venables, now free and living with new identities, were detained indefinitely following a high-profile trial at Preston Crown Court.
Shoppers at the New Strand shopping centre in Bootle, Liverpool, pay their repects to James Bulger who went missing 10 years ago. Thousands of Merseysiders are expected to observe a one-minute silence to mark the tenth anniversary of James's murder. * ... and the flag over the Town Hall in Liverpool will fly at half-mast in memory of the two-year-old Kirkby boy whose battered body was found on an isolated railway line. His schoolboy killers, Robert Thompson and John Venables, now free and living with new identities, were detained indefinitely following a high-profile trial at Preston Crown Court.
Shoppers at the New Strand shopping centre in Bootle, Liverpool, pay their repects to James Bulger who went missing 10 years ago. Thousands of Merseysiders are expected to observe a one-minute silence to mark the tenth anniversary of James's murder. * ... and the flag over the Town Hall in Liverpool will fly at half-mast in memory of the two-year-old Kirkby boy whose battered body was found on an isolated railway line. His schoolboy killers, Robert Thompson and John Venables, now free and living with new identities, were detained indefinitely following a high-profile trial at Preston Crown Court.
The grave of murdered James Bulger in Kirkdale Cemetary in Liverpool. Jon Venables - one of the killers of the toddler - was recalled to custody last week after breaching the terms of his release from prison.
Local people read about the release of the killers of James Bulger in the Liverpool Echo newspaper, outside the Strand shopping centre in Bootle from where James was abducted by Venables and Thompson. The killers of toddler Jamie Bulger were preparing to be released. *The Parole Board ruled that they should go free. The board ruled that Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, now aged 18, were no longer a danger to the public after spending eight years in secure accommodation. But the decision has sparked anger among campaigners who wanted the pair to serve longer sentences.
A policeman stands guard at the entrance of the site where the body of two-year-old James Bulger was found on a railway embankment in Liverpool. *...22/06/01 James Bulger's killers have been granted their freedom by the Parole Board, according to sources close to the case.The board has decided they should be released on life licences, the sources said.The results of parole hearings held earlier this week for Jon Venables and Robert Thompson were being confirmed later today by the Home Secretary David Blunkett. 12/2/03: Thousands of Merseysiders are expected to observe a one-minute silence to mark the tenth anniversary of James s murder, and the flag over the Town Hall in Liverpool will fly at half-mast in memory of the two-year-old Kirkby boy whose battered body was found on an isolated railway line. His schoolboy killers, Robert Thompson and John Venables, now free and living with new identities, were detained indefinitely following a high-profile trial at Preston Crown Court.
20/02/1993: To the astonishment and disbelief of the nation, two young schoolboys are charged with the murder of toddler James Bulger A police tent marks the spot where two year old James Bulger's body was found, on the embankment of the Edgehill to Bootle freight line, near Liverpool's Walton Station. *22/06/01... James Bulger's killers have been granted their freedom by the Parole Board, according to sources close to the case.The board has decided they should be released on life licences, the sources said.The results of parole hearings held earlier this week for Jon Venables and Robert Thompson were being confirmed later today by the Home Secretary David Blunkett. 12/2/03: Thousands of Merseysiders are expected to observe a one-minute silence to mark the tenth anniversary of James s murder, and the flag over the Town Hall in Liverpool will fly at half-mast in memory of the two-year-old Kirkby boy whose battered body was found on an isolated railway line. His schoolboy killers, Robert Thompson and John Venables, now free and living with new identities, were detained indefinitely following a high-profile trial at Preston Crown Court.
Denise Fergus, 33, centre, the mother of the murdered little boy James Bulger leading a march of more than 300 people in protest at the expected release of his killers. She led the procession through the streets of her home town in Kirkby, Merseyside * ... to highlight her Justice for James campaign. The campaign was set up last December after the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Woolf, said the youngster's killers' tariff should be over. Marchers were walking two miles to St Mark's Church in Northwood, where a memorial service was being said for James to mark the eighth anniversary of his march from Kirkby Town centre .
Denise Fergus, the mother of murdered toddler James Bulger arrives with her husband Stuart (left) at the Law Courts, in London, to hear the Lord Chief Justice's ruling on the minimum sentences to be served by his killers, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables. * Thompson & Venables, now aged 18, could be released as soon as February 2001 if Lord Woolf sets a tariff of eight years. Denise Fergus walked in through a scrum of photographers accompanied by her husband, Stuart Fergus, without speaking.
RAY MATTHEWS (HAT), UNCLE OF MURDERED TODDLER, JAMES BULGER, & GERALD COSGROVE HEADMASTER OF THE SACRED HEART PRIMARY SCHOOL IN NORTHWOOD, KIRKBY, WITH PUPIL (L/R) HELEN MATTHEWS, TRACEY GARDENER & NICOLA DEVEREUX IN JAMES'S GARDEN, A MEMORIAL GARDEN SET UP AT THE SCHOOL.
Ralph and Denise Bulger, parents of murdered toddler James Bulger, with their five-month -old baby Michael as they deliver a petition containing 282,000 signatures to the Home Office, calling for their son's schoolboy killers to be kept behind bars for life.
DENISE BULGER CUDDLES HER SON MICHAEL JAMES AT THE OPENING OF A MEMORIAL GARDEN DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF HER MURDERED SON JAMES.
AN ARTISTS IMPRESSION OF THE TWO BOYS ACCUSED OF THE MURDER OF LIVERPOOL TODDLER JAMES BULGER AT PRESTON CROWN COURT.
A LARGE POLICE CONTINGENT MOVES ALONG AN ANGRY CROWD WHICH HAD GATHERED AT SOUTH SEFTON MAGISTRATES COURT WHERE TWO-TEN-YEAR BOYS APPEARED CHARGED WITH THE MURDER OF JAMES BULGER.
TWO POLICE VANS CARRYING THE TWO 11 YEAR OLD BOYS ACCUSED OF MURDERING LIVERPOOL TODDLER, JAMIE BULGER, ARRIVE AT PRESTON CROWN COURT.
Mourners outside the sacred heart church, Kirkby, where the funeral of 2-year-old murder victim James Bulger was taking place. 22/6/01: James Bulger's killers have been granted their freedom by the Parole Board, according to sources close to the case. * The board has decided they should be released on life licences, the sources said.The results of parole hearings held earlier this week for Jon Venables and Robert Thompson were being confirmed later today by the Home Secretary David Blunkett.
A BBC ARTISTS DRAWING OF THE SCENE IN SOUTH SEFTON MAGISTRATES COURT AS TWO TEN YEAR OLDS APPEARED CHARGED WITH THE MURDER OF JAMES BULGER.
Ralph Bulger carries the coffin of his 2-year-old son, James, into the Church of the Sacred Heart, Kirby.
A policeman is overcome with emotion outside The Sacred Heart Church, Kirby, where the funeral service for two year old murder victim, James Bulger, was taking place. 22/6/01: James Bulger's killers have been granted their freedom by the Parole Board. * according to sources close to the case.The board has decided they should be released on life licences, the sources said.The results of parole hearings held earlier this week for Jon Venables and Robert Thompson were being confirmed later today by the Home Secretary David Blunkett.
A man charges a police van and throws a stone at the vehicle carrying one of the ten year old boys charged with the murder of James Bulger as it leaves South Sefton magistrates court in Liverpool. The man was arrested by Police.
A MAN IS RESTRAINED BY POLICE AS THE VAN CARRYING THE TWO TEN-YEAR-OLDS CHARGED WITH THE MURDER OF JAMES BULGER LEAVES SOUTH SEFTON MAGISTRATES COURT. .
A man charges a police van and throws a stone at the vehicle carrying one of the ten year old boys charged with the murder of James Bulger as it leaves South Sefton magistrates court in Liverpool. The man was arrested by Police.
PA NEWS PHOTO 20/2/93 A minute's silence was observed as a tribute to James Bulger, the two-year-old murder victim, from Liverpool fans on the Kop before the match between Liverpool and Ipswich.
ANGUISH SHOWS ON THE FACE OF A YOUNG WOMAN BEHIND POLICE BARRIERS AS THE CONVOY CARRYING THE TWO-TEN-YEAR OLDS CHARGED WITH THE MURDER OF JAMES BULGER LEAVES SOUTH SEFTON MAGISTRATES COURT. 3/4 OF PEOPLE GASPING BEHIND THE BLUE LINE AS THE VAN PASSES BY.
UNDATED FILER OF JAMES BULGER, THE TODDLER MURDERED IN LIVERPOOL. POLICE QUESTIONING TWO TEN-YEAR OLD BOYS IN CONNECTION WITH JAMES'S ABDUCTION & DEATH.
A photograph of murdered two-year-old James Bulger lies beside the hundreds of flowers at the spot where his body was found in Walton, Liverpool.
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James's mother, Denise Fergus, is not involved in the proceedings and no challenge is being brought against the anonymity granted to Thompson.

The court order was amended in relation to Venables after he was convicted of further offences in 2010 and February last year.

Solicitor-advocate Robin Makin, for the Bulgers, has said that the injunction was granted on the basis that Venables was rehabilitated and would not re-offend but he had since been convicted and sent back to jail over indecent images of children.

In written submissions previously before the court, Mr Makin said: "The applicants consider that over 17 years on and with serious offending the experiment of 'anonymising' Jon Venables has not worked and that there is danger in seeking to continue with such a course."

The case is being heard in London on Tuesday and Wednesday by the President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane.

In a ruling on preliminary issues in May last year, then President of the Family Division Sir James Munby said the murder of James Bulger had "shocked and horrified the country".

Only a handful of lifelong anonymity orders have been made to date, including those granted to Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, who murdered Liverpool toddler James Bulger, and child killer Mary Bell.

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