Page last updated at 21:32 GMT, Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Man mistaken for Bulger killer wants Venables named

David Calvert said he was fearful for his children's safety

A man subjected to a hate campaign over false claims he murdered James Bulger has pleaded with Jack Straw to reveal the real killer's new identity.

Merseyside-born David Calvert, 27, said his life had been made unbearable by a Facebook and text message campaign naming him as Jon Venables.

Venables, also 27, was released on licence in 2001, having been convicted of two-year-old James's murder in 1993.

But the Ministry of Justice said it had been clear Venables was back in jail.

Venables, who was convicted alongside his co-accused Robert Thompson when they were both aged 10, was recalled to prison last month for an unspecified breach of his licence.

I want Jack Straw to actually tell who this monster of a man is
David Calvert

Both killers were given new, secret identities when they were released on licence.

Claims that Mr Calvert was Venables, which first emerged when he lived in Fleetwood, Lancashire, in 2005, resurfaced earlier in March.

Mr Calvert thinks the mistaken identity first came about when, after moving to Lancashire, he told neighbours he had been in jail. However that was for an offence of fraud.

When the rumours returned, the father-of-four thought his friends were playing a "sick joke".

But then a friend rang to tell him he was "all over Facebook". The group on the social networking site has since been taken down.

Asked how he felt when he realised people believed he was Venables, Mr Calvert said: "I was scared. I was worried, concerned - and I still am.

Police handout in 1993 of Jon Venables
Jon Venables was given a new identity on his release from prison

"I'm always looking over my shoulder. If I hear a knock at the door, I'm wondering who it is.

"I'm more concerned about the safety of my children and I know it's going to get worse before it will get better.

"I want Jack Straw to actually tell who this monster of a man is. He (Venables) is not a child anymore.

"He's doing the wrong thing by hiding him when there are innocent people like me... who are probably going through the same thing."

Asked what he would say to Mr Straw directly, he added: "My life is absolutely hell thanks to you.

"You know what his name is, and you know it's not my name. So why can't you just put out a statement and say his name is not David Calvert?"

Mr Straw has refused to give details, only confirming that Venables faces "extremely serious allegations".

But he told a Committee of MPs on Wednesday that orders preventing the identities of Thompson and Venables must remain in place to prevent lynch mob attacks.

"We have to anticipate that there can be circumstances, very, very rare indeed, where it will be judged that the physical safety, maybe the life, of someone who has been released from prison can only be preserved if they have been given a fresh identity," he said.

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