‘Shameless’ star Tina Malone nearly escapes jail after posting info of 2 year old James Bulger’s murderer
Last Modified: Mar 18, 2019
The 56-year-old actress, who is best known for her portrayal of Mimi Maguire in Shameless, has admitted sharing a picture of James Bulger's killer Jon Venables on social media. Although she blamed it on a mental breakdown, Malone also had added that she did know anonymity was granted to the murders but did not what an injunction was.
James Patrick Bulger was 2 years old who was murdered on 12 February 1993. Two ten-year-old boys Jon Venables and Robert Thompson were arrested for the abduction, torture, and murder of Bulger.
The boys were tried as adults and were imprisoned, making them the youngest convicted murderers in modern British history. They were released in June 2001, aged 18 under lifelong licence and life-long anonymity injunction.
Venables was again sent to prison in 2010 after breaching the terms of his licence again to be released on parole in 2013. He faced a prison sentence in November 2017 after images of child abuse discovered on his computer.
Social Media post
Last year Tina Malone had posted a picture of James Bulger's killer, Jon Venables as an adult, which is against the law of life-long anonymity injunction, to which both the killers are signed. The post also had included Venables' fiancée’s identity.
Breaching such High Court order carries a maximum penalty of two years in jail. While on the court, Adam Speker, Malone’s barrister said that she understood Venables had been given anonymity for his protection when released from prison.
The post is said to have been originally made on the Facebook user and she was the who shared it. Malone has been an ambassador for The James Bulger Memorial Trust and was friends with the victim’s mother Denise Fergus.
Adam Speker said,
"The AG alleges breaches made by Miss Malone the injunction which was made to prevent publication of anything identifying the identity or purported identity of Jon Venables - one of the two murderers of James Bulger in 1993.
On or about 27 February 2018 the respondent shared a post. In it, the respondent shared a post made by another person that post that she shared purported to give the new name of Jon Venables.
It referred to the new name in the text of the post and included a recent photograph of him and purported to identify Jon Venables by naming him and included a photograph of his purported new fiancée.
There's no suggestion that the conduct in sharing the post was accidental and not a deliberate act on her part. She acknowledges she was aware Venables had been granted anonymity. She does not attempt to explain why, she does not say what was in her mind at the time. She simply says I do not know."
Tina Malone also told the court,
"I didn’t know there was an injunction, I wouldn’t have done it if I’d known. I was on a lot of anti-depressants. It was on the internet, isn’t everyone on the internet? Why am I here? Why isn’t Mark Zuckerberg or someone here? I didn’t know what I was doing. If I’d known I wouldn’t have done it.
I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was 28, although it was called manic depression then. I have felt like I have had it since I was seven or eight. Last year or the last two years was the worst two years of my life. And so yes, I was bad, really really bad. I was for the first time in my life, I was actually suicidal in the December of 2017 and January 2018.”
Tina Malone is reported to have sobbed and hugged members of her family after the sentence was read out. She was given an eight-month suspended jail sentence and ordered to pay £10,000 in court costs.
Previously, two people - Richard McKeag, 28, and Natalie Barker, 36 have narrowly avoided jail in January for posting information about Venables.