Outrage over James Bulger documentary
A DOCUMENTARY on James Bulger's cold-blooded killers has sparked fury in the UK after experts "defended" the 10-year-old murderers, saying they made "an awful mistake".
They were played audio footage of police interviewing killers Jon Venables and Robert Thompson before being sentenced to custody until they reached 18 years old.
The pair were Britain's youngest killers for 250 years and remain only two of six people with lifetime anonymity in the country.
Speaking on the documentary, Dominic Lloyd, Robert Thompson's solicitor said: "Many years after the trial a juror said 'we found them guilty of murder but we didn't have the option to find them guilty of being two very bewildered and frightened little boys who made an awful mistake and need a lot of help'."
His comment led to anger from viewers who felt he was sympathising with the boys who tortured and killed Bulger, two, after snatching him from the Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle, Merseyside.
After the documentary aired, Bulger's mum Denise Fergus said on Twitter that she had "no part in it".
One Twitter user said: "It wasn't fair to interview him. He was in great distress" And what about the little, innocent boy he killed??! I can't believe people find excuses for these murderers. It's beyond me."
Another added: "An awful mistake??!! They didn't kill him in an accident it was premeditated and they tortured that poor baby. How can people defend their actions.#TheBulgerKillers"
"#TheBulgerKillers has taken an uncomfortable turn where it seems the documentary angle is to make out Thompson & Venables were victims in the whole thing & harshly treated him."
Another wrote: "An awful mistake for ten-year-olds is shoplifting not murdering a two-year-old."
Someone else said: "Actually can't believe the people saying that they where just little boys that made a mistake!
"They where [sic] cold-blooded killers that knew exactly what they where [sic] doing to that defenceless little boy!! "They got off easy #TheBulgerKillers"
Later in the documentary, Lloyd added: "Both of those two children can't have been anything other than severely traumatised by what they were part of on February 12."
He continued: "If this had happened months earlier the boys wouldn't have been prosecuted - they were only just over the age that they could be prosecuted.
"In that kind of case then that scale has to be weighed down firmly in favour of rehabilitation.
"To do the contrary is to effectively condemn them to prison for life at ten years of age. That's not something I'm comfortable with at all.
"My view is that Robert should have been released when he was released. I believe personally we will be unlikely to ever hear from him again."
Laurence Lee, Jon Venables' solicitor, said: "Justice could never be served for some people - particularly Denise's family would have been delighted if they had never been released and I can't blame for that.
"But no matter how many years they served in custody, life is never the same for them when they come out. I believe these boys may be at liberty but they will never be free."