SHAMELESS star Tina Malone has today tearfully admitted she knew James Bulger’s killer Jon Venables had anonymity as she faced court.
The 56-year-old actress appeared at the High Court this morning on a charge of contempt of court after allegedly sharing the images on Facebook last year.
Getty – Contributor Tina Malone was summoned to the High Court after allegedly breaching an injunction banning identification of Jon Venables
In a leopard-print fur coat, she appeared shaky and tearful as she swore on the Bible before giving evidence to the court.
She told the court she was living in Liverpool at the time of James Bulger’s murder and knew his killers had been given anonymity when they were released.
The pictures were said to have breached an injunction banning images or information which could identify Venables or fellow killer Robert Thompson as adults.
The pair – who became the youngest murderers in modern British history when they were convicted in 1993 – were given new identities following their release from prison.
Malone had previously posted a message on social media saying she had received a High Court summons and asked for help in finding a lawyer.
In a series of social media posts, the star said: “So as i watched denise and stu fergus on this mng today! I have been served geuss who is taking me to high court!!
“I need a lawyer asap!!!! Iv been committed to the high court!!!”
She later added: “Iv had a wonderful day till i opened my front door 5mins ago!!! The high court have served me!!”
Tina has been an ambassador for The James Bulger Memorial Trust and has said in the past that she was friends with the murdered lad’s mum.
The star previously told the Daily Star Sunday: “I didn’t have a clue it was illegal.
“What are you going to do… prosecute me for posting a picture?
“I didn’t realise. I am not au fait with the law.”
The maximum sentence for contempt of court is two years’ imprisonment, or an unlimited fine.
The actress, from Liverpool, is best known for playing Mimi Maguire in the Channel 4 series Shameless, as well as Mo McGee in Brookside.
INJUNCTION HAD BEEN CHALLENGED BY BULGER FAMILY
Two people narrowly avoided jail in January for posting information online said to be about Venables.
Richard McKeag, 28, and Natalie Barker, 36, admitted breaching the ban on revealing Venables’ identity by posting pictures and other details.
At a High Court hearing in January, McKeag was handed a 12-month sentence, while Barker was given eight months, both suspended for two years.
Earlier this month, the father and uncle of James Bulger failed in a bid to have the injunction varied to allow his past identities to be revealed.
Lawyers for Ralph and Jimmy Bulger argued details about the killer, including identities given to him up to 2017, were “common knowledge” and easily accessible online.
They asked the President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, to vary the order so it would no longer protect this information.
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However, in a ruling at the High Court last week, the judge refused to alter the anonymity order, which he said was to protect the “uniquely notorious” Venables from “being put to death”.
The injunction was amended in relation to Venables after he was convicted of further offences in 2010 and February last year.
He was jailed for three years and four months last year after admitting surfing the dark web for extreme child abuse images and possessing a “sickening” paedophile manual.
Facebook The star wrote on social media last year that she needed a lawyer
Facebook Ms Malone said she had been summoned to the High Court
Facebook The star shared a series of social media posts after receiving the summons
Getty Images – Getty Jon Venables was just ten-years-old when he killed James Bulger
PA:Press Association James Bulger was two-years-old when he was taken two decades ago
Rex Features Robert Thompson was also ten when he killed James. Like Venables, his identity is anonymous
Denise Fergus reveals she is haunted by the re-enacted scene where her son James Bulger is led to his death in new documentary Detainment
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