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Date fixed for High Court challenge to Jon Venables injunction

John Venables
John Venables

A legal action brought by the father and uncle of James Bulger over the lifelong anonymity granted to killer Jon Venables will go ahead in December.

Ralph and Jimmy Bulger are challenging a High Court order made in 2001 .

James's mother, Denise Fergus, is not involved in the proceedings.

Venables has been living anonymously since his release from a life sentence for the kidnap, torture and murder of two-year-old James in February 1993.

The toddler was killed by Venables and Robert Thompson, both aged 10, after they snatched him from a shopping centre in Bootle, Merseyside.

They were both later granted lifelong anonymity and, following release, have lived under new identities.

Solicitor-advocate Robin Makin, for the Bulgers, has said that the injunction was granted on the basis that Venables was rehabilitated and would not re-offend but he had since been convicted and sent back to jail over indecent images of children.

On Wednesday, in the latest of a series of rulings dealing with preliminary issues, judge Sir James Munby said the case would be heard by the new President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane.

The hearing, which is due to take place at London's High Court on or after December 3, is estimated to last two days and will be held in public.