In November 2017, Venables was again sent to prison for breaching his licence by possessing child abuse images on his computer.The Bulger case has prompted widespread debate on the issue of how to handle young offenders when they are sentenced or released from custody.Vizard replied, "If the issue is on the balance of probabilities, I think I can answer with certainty." Vizard also said that Thompson was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after the attack on Bulger.
Thompson and Venables were charged on 20 February 1993 with Bulger's abduction and murder.
They were found guilty on 24 November 1993, making them the youngest convicted murderers in modern English history.
Early press reports and police statements had referred to Bulger being seen with "two youths" (suggesting that the killers were teenagers), the ages of the boys being difficult to ascertain from the images captured by CCTV.
Forensic tests confirmed that both boys had the same blue paint on their clothing as found on Bulger's body.
That same afternoon, Bulger, from nearby Kirkby, went with his mother, Denise, to the New Strand Shopping Centre. Thompson and Venables took Bulger on a meandering 2.5-mile (4 km) walk across Liverpool to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal where he was dropped on his head and suffered injuries to his face.
The boys joked about pushing Bulger into the canal.Each boy sat in view of the court on raised chairs (so they could see out of the dock designed for adults) accompanied by two social workers.Although they were separated from their parents, they were within touching distance when their families attended the trial.Both had blood on their shoes; the blood on Thompson's shoe was matched to Bulger's through DNA tests.A pattern of bruising on Bulger's right cheek matched the features of the upper part of a shoe worn by Thompson; a paint mark in the toecap of one of Venables's shoes indicated he must have used "some force" when he kicked Bulger.Up to five hundred protesters gathered at South Sefton Magistrates' Court during the boys' initial court appearances.