One of the boys later revealed that they were planning to find a child to abduct, lead him to the busy road alongside the shopping centre, and push him into the path of oncoming traffic.
Whilst inside the A. Tym's butcher's shop on the lower floor of the centre at around The boys joked about pushing Bulger into the canal. Batteries were placed in Bulger's mouth and,  according to police, some batteries may have been inserted into his anus , although none were found. Dr Alan Williams, the case's pathologist , stated that Bulger suffered so many injuries —42 in total— that none could be isolated as the fatal blow. After they left the scene, his body was cut in half by a train.
The pathologist's report, which was read out in court, found that Bulger's foreskin had been forcibly retracted. The breakthrough came when a woman, on seeing slightly enhanced images of the two boys on national television, recognised Venables, who she knew had played truant with Thompson that day.
She contacted police and the boys were arrested. Early press reports and police statements had referred to Bulger being seen with "two youths" suggesting that the killers were teenagers , the ages of the boys being difficult to ascertain from the images captured by CCTV.
Both had blood on their shoes; the blood on Thompson's shoe was matched to Bulger's through DNA tests. A pattern of bruising on Bulger's right cheek matched the features of the upper part of a shoe worn by Thompson; a paint mark in the toecap of one of Venables's shoes indicated he must have used "some force" when he kicked Bulger.
The parents of the accused were moved to different parts of the country and assumed new identities following death threats from vigilantes. Thompson and Venables had attempted to lead away another two-year-old boy, but had been prevented by the boy's mother.
Although they were separated from their parents, they were within touching distance when their families attended the trial. News stories reported the demeanour of the defendants. Vizard replied, "If the issue is on the balance of probabilities, I think I can answer with certainty. Susan Bailey , the Home Office forensic psychiatrist who interviewed Venables, said unequivocally that he knew the difference between right and wrong.
Venables later described how Bulger seemed to like him, holding his hand and allowing him to pick him up on the meandering journey to the scene of his murder.
The pathologist spent 33 minutes outlining the injuries sustained by Bulger; many of those to his legs had been inflicted after he was stripped from the waist down.
Brain damage was extensive and included a haemorrhage. In my judgment, your conduct was both cunning and very wicked. There was a need for an informed public debate on crimes committed by young children.
The editors of the Sun newspaper handed a petition bearing nearly , signatures to Home Secretary Michael Howard , in a bid to increase the time spent by both boys in custody. These are the ugly manifestations of a society that is becoming unworthy of that name. Justice Morland stated that exposure to violent videos might have encouraged the actions of Thompson and Venables, but this was disputed by David Maclean , the Minister of State at the Home Office at the time, who pointed out that police had found no evidence linking the case with " video nasties ".
A Merseyside detective said "We went through something like titles rented by the Venables family. There were some you or I wouldn't want to see, but nothing—no scene, or plot, or dialogue—where you could put your finger on the freeze button and say that influenced a boy to go out and commit murder.
These locations were not publicly known until after the boys' release. The records were stored at the units and copied to officials in Whitehall. The boys were taught to conceal their real names and the crime they had committed which resulted in their being in the units. Venables' parents regularly visited their son at Red Bank, just as Thompson's mother did, every three days, at Barton Moss.
The European Court dismissed their claim that the trial was inhuman and degrading treatment, but upheld their claim they were denied a fair hearing by the nature of the court proceedings. In October , he recommended the tariff be reduced from ten to eight years,  adding that young offender institutions were a "corrosive atmosphere" for the juveniles. The Home Secretary David Blunkett approved the decision, and they were released a few weeks later on lifelong licence after serving eight years.
Blunkett added his own conditions to their licence and insisted on being sent daily updates on the men's actions. If they breached the rules or were deemed a risk to the public, they could be returned to prison. The worldwide injunction was kept in force following their release on parole, so their new identities and locations could not be published.
The paper also told how the Bulger family's lawyers had consulted psychiatric experts in order to present the parole panel with a report which suggested that Thompson is an undiagnosed psychopath , citing his lack of remorse during his trial and arrest.
The report was ultimately dismissed. However, his lack of remorse at the time, in stark contrast to Venables, led to considerable scrutiny from the parole panel. Upon release, both Thompson and Venables had lost all trace of their Liverpool accents. The chances of his successful rehabilitation were described as "very high". Despite this, Bulger's mother, Denise, told how in she received a tip-off from an anonymous source that helped her locate Thompson.
Upon seeing him, she was "paralysed with hatred" and was unable to confront him. Children's commissioner Maggie Atkinson said that the killers of James Bulger should have undergone "programmes" to help turn their lives around, rather than being prosecuted.
The Ministry of Justice rejected the call, saying that children over the age of ten knew the difference "between bad behaviour and serious wrongdoing". In passing sentence, Deputy High Bailiff Alastair Montgomerie said that the teenager had "put that person at significant risk of serious harm" and in a "perilous position" by making the allegation. A spokesman commented "There are many different images circulating online claiming to be of Venables or Thompson; potentially innocent individuals may be wrongly identified as being one of the two men and placed in danger.
The order, and its enforcement, is therefore intended to protect not only Venables and Thompson but also those members of the public who have been incorrectly identified as being one of the two men. The posts were seen by 24, people. According to BBC legal correspondent Clive Coleman, the purpose of the prosecution was to ensure that the public was aware that Internet users were also subject to the law of contempt. He had previously received a police warning for stalking her in The Justice Secretary Jack Straw stated that Venables had been returned to prison because of "extremely serious allegations", and stated that he was "unable to give further details of the reasons for Jon Venables's return to custody, because it was not in the public interest to do so.
The claim was reported and dismissed in September ,  but reappeared in March when it was circulated widely via SMS messages and Facebook. It was alleged that he had downloaded 57 indecent images of children over a month period to February , and allowed other people to access the files through a peer-to-peer network. Venables faced two charges under the Protection of Children Act Venables had contacted his probation officer in February , fearing that his new identity had been compromised at his place of work.
When the officer arrived at his flat, Venables was attempting to remove or destroy the hard drive of his computer with a knife and a tin opener.
Later the same year, he was cautioned for possession of cocaine. Harry Fletcher, the assistant general secretary of the National Association of Probation Officers , commented that only hour surveillance would have prevented Venables from downloading the material. On 27 June , the parole board decided that Venables would remain in custody, and that his parole would not be considered again for at least another year.
In April , in the aftermath of his imprisonment, these allegations were outlined in a Sunday Times Magazine article written by David James Smith, who had been following the Bulger case since the trial, and again later in a BBC documentary titled Jon Venables: The female staff member was accused of sexual misconduct and suspended; she never returned to work at Red Bank.
Some time thereafter, he began a relationship with a woman who had a five-year-old child. It is not known whether Venables had already begun downloading child pornography at the time of dating the woman, though he denies having ever met the child.
In , when Venables was 23, his probation officer met another girlfriend of his, who was aged After a number of "young girlfriends", it was presumed that Venables was having a delayed adolescence.
In , a new probation officer noted that he spent "a great deal of leisure time" playing video games and on the Internet. In September that year, Venables was arrested on suspicion of affray , following a fight outside a nightclub; he claimed he was acting in self-defence and the charges were later dropped after he agreed to go on an alcohol-awareness course.
Three months later he was found to be in possession of cocaine; he was subjected to a curfew. Details of the breach could not be reported for legal reasons. A Ministry of Justice spokesman declined to comment on the reports. The Ministry of Justice declined to comment on the reports. He pleaded guilty via video link to three charges of making indecent images of children and one of possessing a paedophile manual. He admitted being in possession of category A, category B, and category C child pornography images, and was sentenced to three years and four months in prison.
The parole board will decide whether to release him at the end of his sentence. Double or Nothing made in , was withdrawn from stores in the UK following reports that it contained an image of Bulger.
The scene in the game involves a computer-generated detective pointing out the picture, which is meant to represent a fictional child abduction that the player is then asked to investigate.
Bulger's family, along with many others, complained and the game was subsequently withdrawn by its UK distributor, GSP.
The game's developer, Legacy Interactive, released a statement in which it apologised for the image's inclusion in the game; according to the statement, the image's use was "inadvertent" and took place "without any knowledge of the crime, which occurred in the UK and was minimally publicized in the United States. The use of the footage was criticised by Bulger's mother and Seven apologised. They answered the question the next day, on 25 August , relaying the Australian government's denial that the killers had been settled in the country.
The storyline was to feature Loretta Jones and her friend Chrissy, who had been given new identities before arriving in the village, after being convicted of murdering a child at the age of