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Denise Fergus
"Letting them out next year is far too soon"
 real 28k

Monday, 4 December, 2000, 18:16 GMT
Bulger net campaign
Denise Fergus, mother of murdered toddler James Bulger
Denise Fergus wants her son's killers to remain locked up
The mother of murdered toddler James Bulger is launching an internet campaign to prevent his killers being set free in the near future.

Denise Fergus wants Robert Thompson and Jon Venables to serve a 15 year jail term for the murder of two-year-old James on Merseyside in 1993.

No-one wants murderers walking the streets - who is to say they won't do it again?

Denise Fergus
The pair, now 18, could be freed on parole in February after the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Woolf, ruled that their minimum tariff had expired.

But through a new website, Ms Fergus is urging members of the public to write to political leaders, the Queen and the parole board, asking for the release to be delayed.

The campaign also aims to raise money for Ms Fergus and James' father, Ralph Bulger, to take legal action to try to overturn Lord Woolf's decision.

Speaking to the BBC, Denise Fergus said she had never believed her struggle for justice would carry on for so long.

And she said she believed a campaign might make politicians think about the consequences of releasing her son's killers.

'Not giving up'

She said: "I've been forced to carry it on. I'm not going to give up - not for James' sake.

"I know 96% of people are on my side - I can't thank them enough. I just want to see justice done for James.

"No-one wants murderers walking around the streets - who is to say they won't do it again?"

James Bulger
James Bulger was battered to death
Ms Fergus also revealed she was now prepared for a face-to-face meeting with Venables and Thompson.

Pressure group Mothers Against Murder and Aggression (Mamaa) supports James' parents efforts to bring a legal challenge.

"People are terrified that they will be living next door to Thompson and Venables when they are released," Mamaa spokeswoman Dee Warner told BBC News Online.

"They should go to prison and serve the full 15 years.

"All we can do is try to overturn the decision in the courts".

Lord Woolf's ruling came in October after the European Court said that the previous Home Secretary Michael Howard had acted illegally by raising the minimum term Thompson and Venables should serve to 15 years.

New identities

Controversially, they may be given new identities on their release from the separate secure units where they have been held for over seven years.

Lawyers for the two young men argue their lives would be at risk if they were identified once they were free.

No decision on the date of the killers' release has yet been made public although a ruling on whether their anonymity will be protected is expected before Christmas.

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