On Friday 26 April 2013 two men, Dean Liddle and Neil Harkins appeared in the High Court and admitted to breaching an injunction preventing the media or individuals publishing images which claim to be Jon Venables and Robert Thompson.
Before Jon Venables and Robert Thompson were released from custody, a court ruled that their identities should remain secret. The court granted an injunction which prevents the media or individuals from publishing images which claim to be of Venables and Thompson (whether or not it is them). The injunction is worldwide and applies equally to the internet, social media and mainstream media.
A breach carries a sentence of up to two years imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine. The High Court Judges said the men knew what they were doing was wrong and it was no excuse that others were doing it.
Reflecting on the “gravity” of their offence, President of the Queen’s Bench Division, Sir John Thomas said they would be given nine months imprisonment but because of mitigating circumstances it would be suspended.
However, he warned the court:
As for the future, if there is publication on the internet or through social media after the date of this hearing, then there will be little prospect of escape from a significant custodial sentence without a prospect of suspension.