Matthew Wright forced to cut caller off in case he revealed Jon Venables' new identity

Matthew Wright was hosting the Channel 5 show earlier today when it was hosting a debate on whether or not those responsible for the death of James Bulger deserve to be anonymous.

A man called Lee from South Wales was among the callers, and told the host: "I was in prison in 2009, and he came to prison…"

Wright then cut him off right away, explaining: "Lee I'm going to have to be very careful about that because you're moving into possible identity situations and I ain't gonna be strung up for that."

The host quickly moved on.

Venables was just ten years old when he abducted two-year-old James Bulger from a shopping centre in Bootle, Merseyside, with his friend Robert Thompson.

The evil pair tortured and murdered the tot, whose body was found by a railway line.

Venables and Thompson were found guilty of Bulger's abduction and murder on November 24, 1993 – making them the youngest people to be jailed for murder in English criminal history.

At 18 years old, Venables and Thompson were both released from a young offenders’ institution under licence in June 2001.

After intensive rehabilitation, the pair were handed new identities.

What is lifelong anonymity?

Under current legislation, child suspects are granted automatic anonymity in the youth courts and are routinely granted the same if they appear at crown court aside from exceptional circumstances.

But once a child turns 18, their name can be reported.

Lifelong anonymity is put in place by courts rarely and is usually in only the most infamous and horrific cases.

Adult criminals have also been given new identities over fears of a vigilante attack.

There are currently six infamous Brit criminals whose crimes are so notorious they have been given lifetime anonymity.

Venables' new identity has been changed twice after he told friends he was a convicted murderer.

But he found himself back in a maximum category A jail, which we cannot identify for legal reasons, after being caught with vile child abuse images following a top-secret police operation.

  • February 12, 1993 James Bulger is taken from shopping centre in Bootle, Merseyside.
  • February 14 His battered body is found by railway line.
  • February 18 Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, then aged ten, are arrested.
  • November 24 Venables and Thompson, now 11, convicted of abduction and murder and detained indefinitely.
  • 1993-2001 Venables is held in the eight-bed Red Bank secure unit in St Helens, Merseyside, while Thompson is held at Barton Moss, outside Manchester. Reports later claim Venables had sex with a female member of staff at Red Bank, who was accused of sexual misconduct and suspended. She allegedly never returned to work there. Reports also claimed Venables was told to tell other residents he was detained for stealing cars, not for murder
  • January 2001 Killers win unprecedented lifelong anonymity amid most draconian banning orders on their whereabouts ever
  • June 2001 They are freed under new identities
  • September 2008 He was arrested on suspicion of affray after a drunken brawl and was given a formal warning by the probation service. He was given a caution for possession of cocaine after he was found with a small amount of the class A drug later that year.
  • February 24, 2010 Venables back in jail after breaching life licence by hoarding child abuse images
  • July 2010 Venables sentenced to two years after admitting downloading and distributing indecent images of children
  • August 2013 Venables freed from prison after Parole Board recommends his release
  • November 2017 Venables recalled to prison after allegedly being caught with indecent images of children again
  • January 2018 Venables charged by CPS over indecent images
  • February 7, 2018 Venables  jailed for 40 months after he admits to possessing more than 1,000 indecent images of children


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