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Ray Matthews speaks to the BBC
"There is no way they have been punished"
 real 28k

Monday, 13 March, 2000, 18:11 GMT
Bulger uncle: Straw passing buck
cctv still
CCTV caught James Bulger's killers leading him away
James Bulger's uncle has said he is "totally disgusted" by Jack Straw's decision to refer the sentences of his nephew's killers back to the Lord Chief Justice.

"It means he's just passing the buck," Ray Matthews told the BBC.

"Instead of taking a strong stance like [former home secretary] Michael Howard did in '94, this guy is weak-kneed."

Ray Matthews
Ray Matthews says the family favours a 15-year sentence
Mr Matthews said the family had come to terms with the fact that James's killers, Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, would be released at some point.

But he felt the pair should serve 15 years, he said.

"We think that 15 years is right for what they did - really we would like to see life mean life but we know that is never going to happen," he said.

"We know that one day they are going to be released back into society but we didn't think it would be so soon," he added.

"At the moment, they've served seven years and they've not been punished - they've been well educated on a one-to-one basis. If they serve just 10 years it would be disgusting."


The people of Merseyside don't want them

Ray Matthews
Mr Matthews said the family would be making a representation to the Lord Chief Justice to put their point of view.

Asked whether the pair would ever be able to live on Merseyside again, Mr Matthews said even under a different identity they would be hounded out of the area.

"The people of Merseyside don't want them here, we don't want to live next door to a murderer.

"If they are released early, I pray to God that someone gets hold of them and for that reason they won't come back to Merseyside," he added.

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13 Mar 00 | UK Politics
Bulger killers decision delayed
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