Monday, 8 March 2010

I'm sticking my neck out here ....

The mother of James Bulger has said she has a right to know why his killer is back in prison, but is getting "no answers" from the government.
(BBC News)

Whilst I fully recognise the emotive nature of this particular case, and the depth of feeling it arouses, I don't think that Denise Fergus does have the right to know why Jon Venables has been sent back to prison.

No matter the reasons behind the action, it would set a very worrying precedent if this information was passed on to her. Then every other victim of crime, or relative of a victim of crime, would be able to make the same request if and when the person convicted of the crime is re-arrested. Where would the line be drawn? Would someone who has been mugged be given the information if and when their convited mugger is re-arrested? Would a householder be given the information if and when the convicted burglar is re-arrested?

The emotional intensity of this particular crime should not be a deciding factor. A veritable "Pandora's Box" will be opened if her demand is met.


  1. I think maybe she has the right to be reassured that it wasn't for something like an attempt to contact, approach or spy on her or her family. Apart from that, I'm not sure she does - but it is unfortunate that anything Thompson and Venables do will be high profile and open fresh wounds for the family.

  2. I think sort of reassurance for her would be fine, as it would be for anyone.

  3. I agree totally and that struck me too as soon as I read her comments on the case. She doesn't "own" the case or have more right to know than anyone else.

    Of course it reads as if she is commenting off her own bat, but I suspect the tabloids have approached her and said "don't you feel bad about this Denise" and she has said "now you mention it" and that's what has kicked off her current prominence in the papers, which is irritating, but it's the way tabloids operate. They are fostering her sense of privilege, if you can call it that.