Mother of murdered toddler James Bulger vows to block phone hacking payout to killer
Published 21/02/2012 | 09:05
DENISE Fergus, the mother of murdered toddler James Bulger, has said she will take legal action to prevent her one of her son's killers receiving compensation as a victim of News of the World phone hacking.
Lawyers acting for Robert Thompson, 29, have informed Scotland Yard that they plan to take legal action against News International that could see the killer paid tens of thousands of pounds in compensation.
The action was started after the team from Operation Weeting informed Thomson that his voice mails had been targeted by the News of the World between 2002 and 2007.
Mrs Fergus said she had instructed her solicitors to "explore every possible avenue" block any payout. She called on Theresa May, the British Home Secretary, and the Press Complaints Commission to intervene.
"It would be a terrible insult to James' memory if the animal who murdered him was to receive a payment,” she said.
"I do not believe that the lawyers can fail to see that what they are doing is completely immoral and unacceptable.
"What goes on in the minds of these people that they do not see they are stooping below the gutter in trying to get blood money for a killer.
"He cannot be allowed to benefit from the wicked crime that he committed in robbing James of his life. It must not happen.
"I was always taught that two wrongs do not make a right and if he gets a penny piece it will be a reward for evil.
"If there is no law to prevent this happening in Britain then we need to pass a law in parliament to make it illegal.”
She added: "I've had to swallow a lot since James was murdered. All down the line the government, the courts, the lawyers and the probation service have all been on the side of his killers.
"But this is the final straw and I am not going to sit back and watch this happen. I will move heaven and earth to stop it."
Her husband, Stuart Fergus, 36, said: "I was completely dumbstruck when I received a call from the Operation Weeting team.
"I could hardly believe my ears when they said one of the murderers was claiming compensation for phone hacking.
"I kept thinking that they were going to tell me there was procedure available for us to object against it. But there was nothing like that.
"They were very understanding, almost apologetic, but there was no offer of any way we could something to stop it.
"I had to tell Denise what they had said. I have seldom seen her so upset and angry. She has had to take a lot of blows in her life, but this is really below the belt.
It is thought that Thompson was informed by the Operation Weeting team in August last year that they had uncovered evidence that his phone had been hacked on several occasions after 2002.
References to him were found in notebooks seized from Glenn Mulcaire, 41, a private investigator working for the News of the World who was jailed in January 2007 for intercepting the phone calls of royal aides.
It is thought that Thompson's lawyers are arguing that he should receive more than £50,000 because, if his identity had become public knowledge, the exposure could potentially have put his life at risk.
The pair were given new names after their release and in 2010 Dame Butler-Sloss said the killers lives would be in danger if a mob were to find their true identity.
The News of the World ran a series of exclusive stories about Thompson following his 2001 release.
In June 2002 it claimed he had been "rushed to hospital" after taking an overdose, in January 2003 it reported that he was starting a course at art college and in April 2004 the paper reported he had a new apartment home on Merseyside.
Thompson and Jon Venables, were convicted of murdering two-year-old James Bulger in Liverpool in February 1993 when they were both aged 10.
They were released on life licence in 2001. Jon Venables was recalled to prison for a breach of parole in February 2010 when he was caught in possession of paedophile pornography.
In June 2010 he was handed a two year sentence for possession and distribution of indecent images. He was refused parole in 2011.
It is not clear whether Jon Venables' name also appeared in files seized from Mulcaire.