Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Bulger case photo ban breach duo sentenced

Social media users have been warned of the consequences of breaching an injunction banning the revelation of the new identities of James Bulger's killers.

The High Court said that nine-month prison sentences, suspended for 15 months, imposed on Dean Liddle (28) and Neil Harkins (35) were not only to punish them, but to deter others.

Sir John Thomas, president of the Queen's Bench Division, said the court would take the exceptional course of suspending the sentences in this case, but there was little prospect of an offender avoiding a substantial immediate custodial sentence if there was any future similar publication.

Attorney General Dominic Grieve brought contempt proceedings against Liddle and Harkins, who put photos on Twitter and Facebook respectively in February this year, two days after the 20th anniversary of the toddler's murder, which purported to depict Jon Venables and Robert Thompson as adults.

They admitted breaching a 2001 injunction, binding on the whole world, imposed before Venables and Thompson were released.

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