Rumours that the murderer of James Bulger had his eyes ripped out and was killed by lags have been debunked.
Over the past day social media has been filled with claims that Jon Venables had been brutally murdered.
The 39-year-old, who abducted and then killed James along with friend Robert Thompson in Bootle, Merseyside back in 1993, was recently thrown back in prison for possessing child abuse images.
It was widely rumoured that Venables, who has been given two new identities following releases from prison, had been brutally attacked while inside.
“Hope the rumours about Jon Venables having his eyes gouged out and murdered are true,” one man tweeted.
“One down one to go if you ask me.”
Another blood thirsty social media user added: “Jon Venables. Murdered last week after a party?? Wish I could meet the person to shake there hand and buy them a pint. Absolute hero.
“Said it once say it again…I hope the rat suffered a long and painful death!!!”
As widespread as the rumours have become over the past day, they are groundless.
The Ministry of Justice has told the Mirror that no such attack took place and that Venables is alive.
Back in 1993 Venables and Thompson were found guilty of the murder, with the judge at their trial in November 1993 branding James’ murder an act of “unparalleled evil and barbarity.”
The legal age of criminal responsibility is 10 in the UK, meaning the boys were considered culpable for the crimes.
Most Western nations, aside from the US, have a significantly older age of culpability, meaning they don’t imprison children.
Venables and Thompson became the youngest convicted murderers in Britain for 250 years and it was recommended they remained locked up for eight years.
Both were released under strict conditions in 2001 and given new identities, but Venables kept falling foul of the law and was put behind bars once again for further crimes.
Venables was caged once again in 2010 after being found with a hoard of horrifying child abuse images on his laptop.
When officers arrived at his flat, Venables was attempting to remove or destroy the hard drive of his computer with a knife and tin opener.
The computer was taken away and 57 indecent images of children over a 12-month period were found.
In July 2010, Venables appeared at the Old Bailey via video link which was only visible to the judge.
He pleaded guilty to charges of downloading and distributing child sex images and was given a sentence of two years in prison.
Venables was given another new identity after a “serious security breach” which could not be reported for legal reasons.
In September 2013, Venables was released from prison after a parole board approved the move two months before.
However, Venables was recalled to prison in November 2017 when he was caught with child abuse images once again.
The images included category A photos, the most serious type, and he also admitted having a “paedophile manual”.
During his hearing, the court heard that upon his arrest he told cops in the police car: “This is my own fault. I have let people down again.
“I have had urges, inquisitive. It won’t be a slap on the wrist for me.”
Venables, who appeared via a video link that only the judge could see, pleaded guilty to possession of indecent images of children for a second time and was sentenced to three years and four months in prison.
Sentencing him to 40 months’ jail in 2018, Mr Justice Edis said: “The children depicted were often very young and vulnerable, there is discernible pain and distress suffered.”