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James Bulger’s mum reveals biggest regret

CCT footage of James Bulger being led away by his killers in The Strand shopping centre. Picture: MercuryPress/Sygma/Corbis.
CCT footage of James Bulger being led away by his killers in The Strand shopping centre. Picture: MercuryPress/Sygma/Corbis.

JAMES Bulger's mum has spoken of how discovering her little lad's killers were children themselves compounded her despair

The horror Denise Fergus felt at his murder in 1993 was deepened by the shock of learning that two boys not much older than him were responsible, reports The Sun .

Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, both 10, were caught on CCTV leading James, a month off his third birthday, from Liverpool's New Strand Shopping Centre.

In an extract from new book I Let Him Go published in The Mirror, Denise, 50, recalls hearing how Thompson laid flowers by the train tracks in Walton where little James' body was found.

She writes: "Thompson lived in Walton, not far from the murder scene, with his mum and two younger brothers. The arresting officer ended up speaking to Thompson's seven-year-old brother.

"He said: 'He knew about the murder, so much so that he and Thompson had been down to put flowers by the tracks.

"'I remember hearing that and wondering if we were making a terrible mistake. I mean, what adult could be that conniving if they had murdered someone, let alone a child behaving so cynically?'"

"It was one of the hardest things to get my head around - my baby's killers were just seven years older than him," she wrote in the book.

Venables arresting officer was also disturbed by the kids who had committed the heinous crime. "I was so shocked to see his age and his size, I just couldn't get my head around the possibility this tiny kid had committed such an evil act."

This blurry image was also released, showing Robert Thompson and Jon Venables in The Strand. Picture: Supplied
This blurry image was also released, showing Robert Thompson and Jon Venables in The Strand. Picture: Supplied

She writes that a decision was made not to present all the evidence in court, as it would be "unnecessarily upsetting" for the family to hear.

"They selected the evidence they needed to secure a conviction but didn't put everything in the public domain. Everyone did what they thought was right at the time."

Had they done so, however, the boys would probably have been given a longer sentence, which Mrs Fergus says might have resulted in James getting "the justice he deserved". The boys were handed eight-year sentences for the crime.

Mrs Fergus says that while she is haunted by many "what-ifs", her biggest regret is turning the wrong way when she left the store after James went missing

"But do you know what my biggest regret is? That I didn't turn right instead of left when I came out the shop - if I had taken the right turn and gone around the corner, I would have seen James being led away."

The relations come as Jon Venables is to stand trial in secret at an un­named court charged with having child abuse images."

Venables, 35 was recalled to prison in November after he was allegedly caught with the pictures.

The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed Venables, who has a new identity, had been charged and would appear at crown court.

It released a statement saying: "In order that justice can be done, no further details are being released at this stage and the proceedings are subject to reporting restrictions."

After eight-year sentences, they were granted lifelong anonymity under new identities. But Venables was sent back to jail for two years in 2010 over vile child images.

Part of this story first appeared in The Sun.

Topics:  james bulger mother murder toddler

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