Thompson seems to have disappeared into obscurity. So did Venables until recently. He was arrested on child pornography charges and recalled to prison. He is now 27. The nature of the charges were not in the public arena until queen's counsel instructed by the DPP applied to Mr Justice Bean to have injunctions prohibiting the nature of the charges being reported lifted. He was successful and then read out the chargesin open court. They are very specific as to the number of images (a) possessed and (b) 'distributed'. Venables is to attend a plea and case management hearing at the Old Bailey via prison videolink on the 23rd July. Some questions arise.
Do the powers that be seriously propose to try him at the Bailey - a murder and terrorism factory where such a case as his would stick out like a sore thumb?
Under what name is he to be prosecuted? Jon Venables? (a touch prejudicial). His current identity? Thus destroying it and necessitating a third identity when he is eventually let out again as surely he will be.
If the latter, what are the chances of a jury working out that the person being tried before them for 57 indecent images and distributing 7 of them is actually Venables? Clue: high.
I have no idea what his pleas will be. If they are 'guilty' then all of this is academic save in relation to consequences in prison given his notoriety, the nature of the current offences and the publicity generated making him a prime candidate for being identified.
If however he pleads 'not guilty' then I can't see how he will get a fair trial. None of this detracts from the horror of what he did as a 10 year old. It's really about what the Americans call due process. Why did the DPP apply to have the injunction discharged at this stage? Running scared of the press and feeling they have to be tossed a bone?