The Aftermath

Crime Files

The Aftermath


A month after James’ killers were found guilty, Denise gives birth to a baby boy called Michael James Bulger. Ralph and Denise finally have a reason to continue living. But their whole world has been turned upside down and sadly their marriage falls apart. In 1994 Denise splits from Ralph. She later remarries in 1998 when she meets Stuart Fergus. Together they have two sons. Ralph remarries and has three daughters with his second wife.“I want to see good things done in James’ name.”Denise FergusBBC News Online, January 2011The James Bulger Memorial TrustIn 2011, the year James would have turned 21, Denise Fergus launches ‘The James Bulger Memorial Trust’. For too long Denise has seen nothing good come from James’ death, so spurred on by Esther Ranzten and the Red Balloon Charity, she’s inspired to help benefit and support young victims of crime, hatred or bullying. Her plans are to reward those who have shown exemplary conduct in helping others. She wants to do this by providing cost-free travel and holiday accommodation for children and families. She creates James Bulger House.

I want to see good things done in James’ name.


The Lord Chief Justice raises the recommended minimum sentence for the two boys from eight years to 10. Then in July 1994 the Home Secretary raises it to 15 years. There’s public outcry that the government is interfering and the House of Lords overturns that ruling. In 1999 lawyers for Thompson and Venables appeal to the European Court of Human Rights that the trial had not been impartial. The European Court dismisses that charge but agrees that the case had not been fair. This leads Lord Chief Justice, Lord Woolf to review the minimum sentence. He reduces it from 10 back to the original eight years. On 22 June 2001, having served their eight years, both Thompson and Venables are released on a lifelong license. Both men are given new identities and moved to different parts of the country to maintain their safety. An injunction prevents the press from publishing any details about the two killers.On 23 July 2010, Venables, aged 27, is jailed after admitting downloading and distributing indecent images of children. He’s denied parole on 27 July 2011. His case will come up for review by 2013 at the latest.Since his release in 2001 Thompson has kept a low profile and done his best to maintain his anonymity. He came close to meeting Denise Fergus in 2004 when she managed to track him down. However, paralysed with anger and hatred, she couldn’t confront him.