Channel 4’s documentary 25 years on from the horrific murder of James Bulger has been slammed for its portrayal.
The Bulger Killers: Was Justice Done? aired on the channel on 5 February, speaking to the individuals involved a quarter of a century after the crime was committed.
But viewers were left angry and upset by how the hour-long look back showed the two-year-old’s killers, Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, as victims themselves and were largely deemed to be too young to be held accountable.
During the documentary there were a number of accounts from those who were there – including the killers’ defence solicitors, legal prosecutors and various journalists who covered the case at the time. Back then, the two boys were just 10-years-old when they went on trial, as experts on the programme went on to suggest that they were far too young to have done so.
People were left displeased by the angle the documentary took, and voiced their concerns on social media.
I have to wonder if Jon & Robert are watching this & if they feel as horrified & as sickened as the rest of us at what they did. It all just seems unreal that 10 year olds could do what they did. #TheBulgerKillers
— Joe McCall (@DrJMcCall) February 5, 2018
#thebulgerkillers I think everyone can tell you the answer before we even watch it.. NO JUSTICE WASNT DONE!!!
— nerys bawden (@nezra_bee) February 5, 2018
If the child lies to try and get out of trouble guess what? They understand what they’ve done is wrong. Simple. #TheBulgerKillers
— Rabbit (@RabbitsTea) February 5, 2018
Disgusting how so much emphasis got put on the killers age and not on the brutality and suffering James Bulger went through , far too much sympathy especially from Dominic Lloyd. RIP JAMES #TheBulgerKillers
— Liam (@aberdeen_fire) February 6, 2018
The Bulger Killers on Ch4. Are we meant to have had sympathy for those 10 year olds who KILLED A 2 YEAR OLD because they were heard crying on tape?!!! FGS – 10 year olds know right from wrong! #EVIL
— Lisa Munroe-Shields (@LisaYidetteWHL) February 5, 2018
Cannot find the words to express how I feel watching The Bulger Killers… How anyone can defend those two monsters is absolutely beyond belief
— Amy Dodds (@amydoddsx) February 5, 2018
#TheBulgerKillers I cannot believe there are people on this show trying to defend the killers RIP James Bulger
— wise jedi knight (@LeifStacey8) February 5, 2018
One of the featured commentators, former The Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie, said it was: ‘A shocking mistake the mother has to live with.’
Another claimed: ‘We should not be treating children the way it was done in the Bulger case.’
The consensus seemed that the show had taken a particularly lenient stance on the child killers, as viewers continued to express their outrage on Twitter.
Venables and Thompson were both convicted of murdering the infant after abducting him from a Bootle shopping centre in Liverpool, in February 1993.
At the time, the judge described the murder as an act of ‘unparalleled evil and brutality’ and the boys were both given eight-year sentences.
You can watch the documentary in full on Channel 4’s catch up service.
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