Murder of James Bulger

Suspended sentence for actress who shared Bulger killer post

Liverpool-born actress Tina Malone has been given a suspended prison sentence for sharing a Facebook post which is said to have included an image and new name of one of James Bulger killers.

The 56-year-old ex-Shameless and Brookside star admitted breaching an injunction protecting the identity of James Bulger killer Jon Venables by sharing a post on social media.

Tina Malone
Press Association

The Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett ordered Malone to pay £10,000 towards the costs of the case but spared her a custodial sentence for contempt of court because of "personal circumstances and mitigation".

The 56-year-old's barrister, Adam Speker, told the court on Wednesday that she understood that Venables had been given anonymity for his protection.

He said Malone had mental health problems at the time she shared the post and was "very sorry to have found herself in this position".

Jon Venables
Merseyside Police

Jon Venables and Robert Thompson were convicted of murdering two-year-old James in 1993.

They have been living under new identities since they were released in 2001.

Court hears bid to lift Bulger killer anonymity

The High Court has begun hearing a challenge to the worldwide anonymity order given to one of the two boys who murdered two-year-old James Bulger in Bootle in 1993.

Jon Venables
Merseyside Police

An injunction against any publication of the new identities of Jon Venables and Robert Thompson came into force on their 18th birthdays but James’s father and uncle believe the injunction applied to Venables should now be modified.

Their solicitor, Robin Makin told the High Court: “If the authorities think the injunction is working, their assessment is hopelessly inadequate”.

He said photographs and other information about Venables’ new identity are already “in the public domain” on the internet - in breach of the injunction - and Venables had not been harmed as a result.

James Bulger
Family handout

Mr Makin called for a “sensible variation” of the order that would preserve some elements of Venables’ anonymity while releasing other information about him to allow the Bulger family to exercise their human rights and allow proper scrutiny of how the authorities have handled Venables’ case.

He said when the injunction was put in place in 2001 it was on the assumption that he would not reoffend, but Venables was jailed in 2010 and again last year on charges relating to child pornography.

James's mother Denise Fergus has not supported the case saying she doesn’t want “blood on my hands”.