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Judge rules Bulger's killer's identity must stay secret

Media restrictions remain in place, but what are they?

THE NEW IDENTITY of Jon Venables, convicted murdered of toddler Jamie Bulger, must remain a secret for his protection, a judge has said. The judge said that there has been “compelling evidence” of a threat to Venables’ safety.

Venables and Robert Thompson, both aged 10, were sentenced to life in prison in 1993. They were given new identities upon their release in 2001, and special legal restrictions were laid down to protect those identities.

The restrictions include a ban on publishing:

- the names of the secure units where they were held
- the rehabilitation regimes they underwent
- the appearance of either Venables or Thompson
- the address of either Venables or Thompson

However, these details could be published in other countries.

Venables, 27, returned to prison after being convicted of possession of child pornography last week. He was sentenced to two years. He and Thompson received numerous threats during their trial for Bulger’s murder and after they were convicted.

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