Twenty years ago today, two-year-old James Bulger was taken from his mothers side in a shopping centre in Bootle near Liverpool.
Taken by two ten-year-old boys, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables who tortured and murdered him before leaving his tiny body on a train track.
The world changed that day. And as a young mother with a two-year-old son of her own in 1993, James's murder haunted me. I spent hours and hours trying to understand what would possibly make two children do what they did to that beautiful, innocent baby.
|Photo : James Bulger via Google images|
Robert Thompson and Jon Venables were of course caught, tried and found guilty, making them the youngest convicted murderers of the 20th century.
They were sentenced to be detained at Her Majesty's pleasure, with a recommendation that they should be kept in custody for "very, very many years to come..."
|Photo : Venables and Thompson's now infamous arrest shots from 1993|
Very, very many years only seemed to constitute eight years in a secure children's unit for Venables and Thompson and they were released to secret locations, with new identities, banned from contacting each other, the Bulger family or from visiting the Merseyside region at all.
In a further 'comforting' gesture from the government and to see the boys back on their way into society, a worldwide media injunction was imposed preventing the publication of details about them, their shiny new identities or their geographical location. (I'm so pleased to know that through the tax I've paid from working hard my whole adult life, I've been complicit in funding Venables and Thompson's new lives - NOT.)
Maybe, just maybe, if this awful story ended there and Venables and Thompson were never to darken our lives again, things would be different but that isn't the case.
In March 2010 Jon Venables was returned to prison under an 'un-specified' violation of his licence terms. This violation turned out to be the serious charge of downloading and distributing child pornography, featuring children as young as two-years-old. Venables pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years imprisonment.
Then in February last year, lawyers acting on behalf of Robert Thompson informed Scotland Yard of their plans to take legal action against News International in the wake of the phone tapping scandal, that could see little Jamie Bulger's convicted killer being paid tens of thousands of pounds in compensation after his voice mails had been targeted by The News of The World between 2002 and 2007.
Now the phone tapping of celebs has never sat well with me but for Thompson to claim compensation for his phone being tapped should surely be looked upon as a proceed of crime?
His phone was tapped because he tortured and murdered a baby boy. How is it right that he could potentially walk away from this a very rich man when the Bulger family are still fighting for justice?
So - this is the point of my post. The Bulger family have a petition in place and they need 100,000 signatures in order to get the government to re-asses their policy on allowing notorious criminals to cash in on phone-hacking compensation.
At the time of posting there are already 8069 signatures on the petition. They can reach the 100,000 mark in no time with your help and if you want to see some justice for little James, please share this blog post far and wide.
Sign the Notorious criminals cashing in on phone hacking compensation e-petition and lets all do our bit to get at least some justice for the beautiful James Bulger.
You can follow the James Bulger Memorial Trust Charity on Twitter @jbmt1