Contempt of Court – The Venables Saga

Back in 1993, an innocent 3 year old child, was brutally murdered by two school-children.  Yes two 10 year old boys, found this little boy wandering around a shopping centre.  Instead of taking him to a security officer or trying to help him find his mum, they coaxed this little boy away from the safety of his mother and inflicted the most horrendous death that anybody could endure, yet alone a child.

They were arrested, convicted and later released, with new identities.  One of those 10 year old boys, since becoming an adult, has gone on to make headlines yet again, because he was arrested for other offences including an offence against children, namely, downloading and distributing child pornography.

Royal-courts-of-justiceThe Guardian in an article dated 23rd July 2010, says:

Jon Venables, one of the killers of toddler James Bulger, was jailed for two years today after pleading guilty to charges of downloading and distributing child pornography.

Personally I wouldn’t care if the person lives or dies, I know I wouldn’t want anything to do with him and if I found he lived in my street, I would make sure my family steered well clear of him.  As for taking the law into my own hands and harming him.. no way…  But unfortunately due to the nature of some people, they are willing and would take the law into their own hands.

As much as we proclaim disgust at what Venables and Thompson did to James Bulger, we as law-abiding citizens must adhere to a Court’s decision and that includes the injunction that states that nobody is allowed to report about their new identities.

But has that stopped people?


On Twitter, blogs (one which subsequently has been removed since yesterday) people have shown pictures of what Jon Venables is supposed to look like.  The blog that did have this so-called Venables picture on their blog, (the blog has now been deleted) didn’t just have the picture from a couple of days ago, but they had it on their blog since June 2011,    This blog has been quoted by many other bloggers as the source to these photos.

In the Daily Mail today they summed up the meaning of Contempt of Court

contempt of court - daily mail

People may jump up and down, whilst shouting from the rooftops about protecting these two monsters, but the truth is the law is not there just to protect them, but also to protect others from mistaken identity.  You see, people, who post these so-called pictures, which break a court order, do so without knowing if they really do have the right person.

I could, but wouldn’t, send a picture of someone I took in the street, or received in an email for instance and proclaim that is a so and so who has been given a new identity, without knowing whether it was or was not that person, and subsequently post it on social media and blogs.  My actions, could result in an innocent person, becoming the victim of  people who act like vigilantes and have  lynch mob behaviour.

That is why Court Orders are in place, it isn’t just to protect the offender it is also to protect people who could easily be mistaken for that person.

As much as I think everyone has the right to know who these people are, so that they can avoid them and sleep in peace knowing that their own daughter is not courting this person, or their son is not hanging around with this person, I also realise that it isn’t feasible.

The simple reason being is that, some people wouldn’t act like a civilized person and steer clear, they would take the law into their own hands.  And when someone defies a court order then they should be dealt with by the Courts themselves.

Back in early 2010, a man pleaded with Jack Straw MP, to release the the identity of Jon Venables because he found himself a target of the hate-mob because some mindless idiots posted details of Venables so-called new identity and those postings were not just on the internet they were also being sent by text messages on mobile phones.

Two years later a man actually committed suicide because he named as Thompson, Click Liverpool reports:

A man left a suicide note telling of his torment at the hands of a hateful gossips who falsely fingered him as James Bulger killer Robert Thompson.

English-born Scott Bradley was driven to despair by a hate campaign in a seaside town in Scotland accusing him of being a child killer an paedophile.

The body of the 36 year-old, originally from Bury, was found by his distraught mother Sue near Garlieston, Galloway.

In a heartbreak suicide note Scott blamed bullies who had made his life a misery with malicious rumours branding him as James Bulger’s killer.

I can see two sides to the argument, if  the names of these child killers had been released then maybe those two people would not have gone through what they did…. but the other dark side of the coin is this, if those names and photos had been released,  how many people could there have been injured and more sinisterly killed because they had the same name and looked a bit like the person in those photos?

Courts are between a rock and a hard place… they have to protect the innocent, but they also have a duty to protect the convicted against hate-mobs and vigilantes who would harm them.

The Attorney Generals Office has stated:

‘The terms of the order mean that if a picture claims to be of Venables or Thompson, even if it is not actually them, there will be a breach of the order.

So before people start condemning the Attorney General, Judges, etc, remember the real reason why these injunctions are awarded, it is in order to protect the innocent from mistaken identity.  If you want to blame anybody for the Courts having to impose these injunctions, blame the people who disregard the law and the people who think they can break a court order without facing any consequences.   Blame the people who would take the law into their own hands by violently attacking those who they think could be a child killer.  And blame the people who post these pictures online, send these messages on their phones and tweet they know the identity of these two and the people who retweet these so called ‘outing’ tweets.

You see it is because of the behaviour of these people that normal law-abiding citizens have to live with not knowing if a child killer is living in their area.


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