Wednesday 17 January 2018

Bulger killer has right to protection -- judge

THE new identity of killer Jon Venables must be kept secret because of the "compelling evidence" of a threat to his safety, a judge said yesterday.

Mr Justice Bean ruled that "unpopular" defendants had as much right to protection from retribution as anyone else.

Venables, one of the killers of James Bulger, was jailed for two years last week after admitting child pornography offences. The court heard that he was still receiving death threats after he and Robert Thompson, both aged 10 at the time, murdered two-year-old James in 1993.

After he was sentenced last Friday, some media organisations argued against a continuation of the court order banning his identification. But the judge said it was a fundamental duty of the state to protect defendants. "That principle applies just as much to unpopular defendants as to anyone else," he added.

Irish Independent

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