The boys, then aged 11, were convicted of Bulger`s murder by Preston Crown Court on November 24, 1993, becoming the youngest convicted murderers of the 20th century.  The judge, Morland J., told Thompson and Venables that they had committed a crime of «unprecedented evil and barbarism.» In my opinion, your behavior was both cunning and very mean.  Morland sentenced her to imprisonment at Her Majesty`s discretion, recommending that she be detained for «many, many years» and recommending a minimum sentence of eight years.  At the end of the trial, the judge lifted the reporting restrictions and allowed the names of the murderers to be published, saying, «I did this because the public interest outweighed the interest of the accused. There was a need for an informed public debate on crimes committed by young children.  David Omand later criticized this decision, pointing to the difficulties it created in its review of the probation service`s handling of the case in 2010.  With an average age of 14, the UK is out of step with the rest of Europe. This does not mean that other countries ignore crimes committed by younger children. Instead, they treat them through child protection and protection systems, as in the Norwegian case, which bore notable similarities to that of the murder of James Bulger. In 1999, lawyers for Thompson and Venables appealed to the European Court of Human Rights that the boys` trial had not been impartial because they were too young to follow the procedure and understand an adult court. The court rejected their claim that the trial was inhuman and degrading, but maintained their claim that they had not received a fair trial due to the nature of the trial.  The Court also found that the Minister of the Interior`s intervention led to a «highly explosive atmosphere» that led to an unjust verdict.  On 15. In March 1999, the Strasbourg Court ruled by 14 votes to five that there had been a violation of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights concerning the fairness of the trial of Thompson and Venables: «A public trial in adult court must be regarded as a very intimidating trial in the case of an 11-year-old child.  The case has continued to generate strong feelings and passionate debates about how the two perpetrators should have been treated, and it is as much a moral argument as it is a matter of rational reflection about rights, duties and what the evidence tells us. For example, this case is still very relevant to discussions about the age of criminal responsibility. Thompson and Venables were charged with kidnapping and murder on February 20, 1993. They were arrested on 24 September. They are the youngest convicted murderers in modern British history.
They were sentenced to indefinite detention at Her Majesty`s discretion and remained in custody until a decision of the Parole Board in June 2001 recommended their release on a lifetime licence at the age of 18.  Venables was sent to prison in 2010 for violating the terms of his license, paroled again in 2013, and sent back to prison in November 2017 for possessing child sexual abuse images on his computer. After the trial, Thompson was detained at the Barton Moss Secure Care Centre in Manchester.  Venables was detained at Vardy House, a small eight-bed unit of Red Bank`s security unit in St Helens, Merseyside. These places became known to the public only after the boys` release.  Details of the boys` lives are recorded twice a day on race sheets and signed by the staff member who wrote them; The files were kept in the units and copied to officials in Whitehall. The boys learned to hide their real names and the crime they had committed, which led them to be in the units. Venables` parents regularly visited their son at Red Bank, as did Thompson`s mother every three days at Barton Moss.  The boys received education and rehabilitation; Despite the initial problems, Venables reportedly made good progress at Red Bank, resulting in him being held there for eight years, although the facility was only a short-term pre-trial detention.  Both boys are said to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and Venables reports in particular nightmares and flashbacks of the murder.  If the government is not prepared to raise the minimum age of responsibility, the reintroduction of a presumption of doli incapax should be considered.
The government should try to follow in the footsteps of other European criminal justice systems, how they treat minors. The recommendations of the recent Lammy report recommended that the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Health collaborate in the development of a method for assessing the maturity of offenders entering the justice system before the age of 21, similar to the system currently used in Germany. The criminal justice system in England and Wales should not use a one-size-fits-all approach for people aged 10 to 14. The Doli incapax presumption would not allow minors to escape prosecution, as was the case in Venables and Thompson. The prosecution in this case managed to rebut the presumption and prove that the couple understood that their abhorrent behavior was gravely reprehensible, which led to their conviction. Philip Rydeard, another forensic pathologist, was able to match the pattern of bruising on James` right cheek with the features of the top of a children`s A shoe. They were black brogues that had distinctive seams and an unusual arrangement of lacing rings. Traces of light blue paint had been found on James` anorak, hair, shoes and underwear. The same traces of light blue paint were also found on children`s clothing A and B, including their jackets, pants and shoes. Andy Mulley, a forensic pathologist, pointed out to the jury that a stain on Child B`s sleeve may well have been James` small handprint. Despite their strong evidence, police fear the jury will return a verdict for manslaughter.
The fact that the jury had to make sure the boys knew the seriousness of their crimes worried the police, especially Detective Superintendent Albert Kirby. A woman sees the grainy images of the beach and recognizes the two individuals as Robert Thompson and Jon Venables. They are known troublemakers, and a quick check of the school registry proves they skipped the day James Bulger disappeared. Lord Donaldson criticized Howard`s intervention, describing the tariff increase as «institutionalized revenge.» [of] a politician playing in the stands.»  The increased minimum sentence was repealed in 1997 by the House of Lords, which declared it «illegal» for the Home Secretary to decide minimum sentences for juvenile offenders.  The Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights have now held that while Parliament may set minimum and maximum sentences for individual categories of offences, it is for the trial judge to determine the minimum length in each criminal case, taking into account all the evidence and arguments of the prosecution and defence counsel.  On February 12, 1993, two-year-old James Bulger was abducted and murdered by 10-year-old Jon Venables and Robert Thompson.