REAL LIFE

James Bulger’s mum: ‘If I’d turned right instead of left, I’d have saved his life’

Denise Fergus tragically reveals she still blames herself for her son’s murder.

James Bulger’s mother has revealed the last moments she shared with her son will be “etched on her mind” until her dying day.

In the lead up to the 25th anniversary of the two year old British boy’s murder, Denis Fergus has said she still blames herself for James’ death, because she took her “eyes off him for that split second” in the New Strand Shopping Centre in Liverpool on 12 February 1993.

James was meant to be the baby to heal Denise’s broken heart, having become pregnant with James after losing her first born, daughter Kirsty, soon after she gave birth to her in February 1989.

Denise Fergus
Denise Fergus (Credit: Getty Images)

Denise admits she “stopped sleeping” and “hasn’t had a full night’s rest” since the day James went missing.

She told the Mail on Sunday: “There aren’t the words to describe how I still feel now, every day. I was the one who let go of his hand; I was the one there meant to protect him.

“But do you know what my biggest regret is? That I didn’t turn right instead of left – if I had taken the right turn and gone around the corner, I would have seen James being led away, just four short minutes after he had left my side, trustingly holding hands with the boys who were about to murder him.”

James’ body was found two days later on a railway line. He had been partly stripped and beaten to death with bricks and a metal bar.

CCTV footage showed him being lured away from the shopping centre by his 10 year old murderers, Jon Venables and Robert Thompson.

robert
(Credit: Getty Images)
jon
(Credit: Getty Images)

Thompson and Venables were arrested and charged within days and convicted in November of the same year at Preston Crown Court.

After serving eight-year sentences, Venables and his friend Robert Thompson were granted lifelong anonymity that saw them released under new identities in 2001.

cctv
CCTV footage of Venables and Thompson leading James away (Credit: Getty Images)

Venables was returned to prison in November after he was allegedly caught with child abuse images, The Sun reports.

His trial is to be held in private at an unnamed court, the Crown Prosecution Service has said.

“The man formerly known as Jon Venables has been charged with offences relating to indecent images of children and will appear in the Crown Court,” a statement via the CPS revealed.

“In order that justice can be done, no further details are being released at this stage and the proceedings are subject to reporting restrictions.”

This article originally appeared on New Idea.

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