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Monday, 8 January, 2001, 16:30 GMT
Mother's anger at Bulger ruling
Denise Fergus, mother of murdered toddler James Bulger
Denise Fergus says she will continue to fight for justice
The mother of murdered toddler James Bulger has criticised a decision to protect the anonymity of his killers when they are released.

A spokesman for Denise Fergus said she was very disappointed following the decision by the Family Division president Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss.

Ms Fergus said she did not believe the pair deserved any protection.

Several media organisations had opposed the move to extend reporting restrictions covering the killers now that they are adults. They have been given leave to appeal.


If there is any such thing as a living hell, I and my family live it daily

Denise Fergus
The director of the Victims of Crime Trust, Norman Brennan, read out a statement on behalf of Ms Fergus.

"The only shred of hope I had left was that Dame Elizabeth would turn down the application for Thompson and Venables to be given anonymity for the rest of their lives - they just simply don't deserve it.

"As children one can understand them being given some protection, but what right have they got to be given special treatment as adults as well.

"I fully supported the newspapers' group application to deny this right, I support their appeal too.

Financial gain

"Both Venables and Thompson have dragged me, my family and the name of James through every court possible in the country and Europe, for which unlimited funds have been made available to them.

"This is in direct contrast to the help made available to victims of crime in this country.

"The European Court of Human Rights has quickly become a friend of criminals and an enemy of their victims.

"Sadly people like me, who have lost a loved one through murder, will realise that they have no rights. Despite what the government says the views of the victims appear to count for nothing.

Threat

"If there is any such thing as a living hell, I and my family live it daily. I will continue to fight on for justice for James. That is all I have ever wanted."

Venables' solicitor John Dickinson said he believed there was a genuine threat to the lives of the two killers.

"The evidence of risk gives rise to concern," he said.

James Bulger
James Bulger was battered to death
The policeman who led the Bulger murder inquiry, Albert Kirby, welcomed the decision.

He said it would have been a backwards step to identify the boys and any other information about them.

"You only have to look what happened in Portsmouth over the paedophiles and the News of the World campaign to highlight how people can be motivated."

He said the decision did set a precedent but it was one that could be argued against in the future.

Mr Kirby added that he would like to see restrictions placed on the boys to stop them selling their stories.

"I only hope as part of the judgement that the hands of the boys and their families will also be tied by similar types of orders, to prevent them selling their story and gaining financially from what they did as young people," he said.

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