Channel 4 to make documentary about trial of James Bulger’s killers

The Bulger Killers: Was Justice Done? will air in February 2018

Jon Venables

Channel 4 is to make a new documentary about the trial and conviction of James Bulger’s killers.

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The programme will mark 25 years since ten-year-old boys Robert Thompson and Jon Venables were charged with Bulger’s murder, and this new documentary promises to bring together key individuals who were involved in the trial “to examine whether justice was truly served.”

The documentary has a working title of The Bulger Killers: Was Justice Done? and is due to air on Monday February 5 at 9pm on Channel 4. It will be produced by October Films directed by Matt Smith (Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad).

The one-off programme will seek to ask two questions: Did the criminal justice system fail the Bulger family by being too lenient on the murderers? Or did it fail two young boys unable to fully understand the consequences of their actions?

The film will include excerpts from the police interview tapes with Venables and Thompson as well as interviewing those personally involved, including James’s father Ralph Bulger, Jon Venables’ solicitor Laurence Lee and detective sergeant Phil Roberts, who conducted the interviews with Robert Thompson.

Michelle Chappell, Commissioning Editor, Documentaries said: “James Bulger’s murder shocked the nation and still lingers in the hearts and minds of the British public. Recent events have put the question of whether justice was served back at the forefront of national debate.

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“By bringing together some of the key contributors to the trial and sentencing as well as those reacting to and in some cases helping shape the public sentiment, this will be a timely and thought-provoking look at how we should deal with horrific crime and the punishment of perpetrators not yet into their teens.”