Tina Malone faces contempt of court hearing for Bulger killer social media post

Actress Tina Malone is facing contempt of court proceedings for allegedly sharing pictures on social media said to be of James Bulger killer Jon Venables.

The Shameless star previously posted a message on Facebook saying she had received a High Court summons and asking for help to find a lawyer.

High Court judges will hear an application by the Attorney General Geoffrey Cox QC on Wednesday.

I need a lawyer asap!!!! Iv been committed to the high court!!!

Posted by Tina Malone on Thursday, January 24, 2019

A court order was made “against the world” in 2001 which bans the publication of anything that purports to reveal the identities of Venables and Robert Thompson.

They have been living anonymously with new identities since being released from a life sentence for the kidnap, torture and murder of James in 1993, when they were aged 10.

Malone wrote on Facebook in January: “I need a lawyer asap!!!! Iv been committed to the high court!!!”

In another post, she wrote: “Iv had a wonderful day till i opened my front door 5mins ago!!! The high court have served me!!”

Bulger injunction warning
Police handout photo of Jon Venables (left) and Robert Thompson (PA)

Two people narrowly avoided jail in January for posting information online said to be about Venables.

Richard McKeag, 28, and Natalie Barker, 36, admitted breaching the ban on revealing Venables’ identity by posting pictures and other details.

At a High Court hearing in January, McKeag was handed a 12-month sentence, while Barker was given eight months, both suspended for two years.

Earlier this month, the father and uncle of James Bulger failed in a bid to have the injunction varied to allow his past identities to be revealed.

Lawyers for Ralph and Jimmy Bulger argued details about the killer, including identities given to him up to 2017, were “common knowledge” and easily accessible online.

They asked the President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, to vary the order so it would no longer protect this information.

However, in a ruling at the High Court last week, the judge refused to alter the anonymity order, which he said was to protect the “uniquely notorious” Venables from “being put to death”.

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

He was jailed for three years and four months last year after admitting surfing the dark web for extreme child abuse images and possessing a “sickening” paedophile manual.

Only a handful of lifelong anonymity orders have been made to date, including those granted to Venables and Thompson, and child killer Mary Bell.

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