Bulger mother in sentences plea

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The Independent Online

Denise Fergus, mother of the murdered two-year-old James Bulger, appealed to the Lord Chief Justice yesterday not to reduce the 15-year jail sentences of the two boyswho killed her son.

Lord Bingham of Cornhill is reviewing the sentences set by Michael Howard, the former home secretary, after the European Court of Human Rights ruled last year that it should not be up to politicians to decide the length of sentences.

Robert Thompson and Jon Venables were both aged 10 when they were handed a 15-year tariff by Mr Howard after the then Lord Chief Justice, Lord Taylor, said the two should serve 10 years. Mrs Fergus said yesterday: "They should be given a proper sentence, not something stupid like 10 or eight years." She said she thought the killers had been given the best of everything in the children's home they are kept in. "They won't realise what they have done until they go to a proper jail," she said.

"How can you rehabilitate two evil little monsters. At the age of 10 they carefully planned to do this to other children before they did it to James."

Thompson and Venables, aged 17, were convicted at Preston Crown Court of abducting the two-year-old from the New Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle, Merseyside, and murdering him in 1993.