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#486638 - 16th Mar 2011 4:15pm James Bulger's 21st birthday
_jase_
Unregistered


Denise Fergus's graveside visit to mark her son James Bulger's 21st birthday








Denise Fergus pays tribute to her beloved son James Bulger on what would have been his 21st birthday

SHE should be organising a party for her son’s 21st birthday – but instead Denise Fergus and family members will be gathering at James Bulger’s graveside to mark the occasion.

For Denise, never a day passes when she does not think of James and she will always cherish bittersweet memories of the years they spent together.


She said: “I would love to make James’s 21st birthday really special, but we know it cannot be like that.

“I can remember him the way he was – my wonderful little son who was so loved and who we all still love and miss so much.

“He was a really happy boy who was delighted when he was having stories read to him.

“He loved being with people and was never happier than when he was playing with his cousins.

“It is impossible to know what he would have been like if he had lived.

“James was full of fun and had his own little character.

“He was unique and I have never set any of his brothers up to stand in his place.

“They each have their own nature but there have been times when I have seen flashes of James in all three of them.”

Denise, 42, says she considers herself to be a “mum-of-five”, counting James and her first child, a daughter she named Kirsty, who was still-born.

She said: “I was 24 when I lost James and I had to toughen up overnight.

“Now I am more outgoing than ever.

“Sometimes I look back at all those things which happened and it feels unreal. It is like I became two separate people.

“People ask how I came to terms with James’s murder. The answer is I never have and never want to.

“After a death, you have to get on with your own life and one of the most important things is to talk about the person who has gone.

“Hardly a day goes by when James’s name is not mentioned in our house and he is in our memories. He is still very much part of our family.

“It is wrong to think by not mentioning someone, the pain will go away.

“The more I remember James, the more comfort I feel.

“The pain of losing him will never go away. But there is so much more in my life and I decided a long time ago not just to be a victim. I do not let things hurt me so easily as I used to.”

Denise Fergus pays tribute to her beloved son James Bulger on what would have been his 21st birthday

Denise and her electrician husband Stuart Fergus live in Kirkby and are tremendously proud of their four-bedroom family home.

One of 13 brothers and sisters, Denise takes great pleasure in family celebrations and is particularly noted for her Christmas decorations.

She said: “If James had lived, I am sure we would have had a huge party for his 21st.

“Who knows – he might have had a family of his own by now or he could be studying at university. Sadly we will never know.”

Even after more than 18 years, Denise remains incredulous, almost disbelieving, at the sheer callousness of the crime which robbed James of his life and changed the course of History for her.

The planned, calculated abduction and murder of a two-year-old child by two 10-year-old boys in broad daylight sent shockwaves around the globe which reverberate to this day.

The toddler was lured away from his mum’s side at Bootle’s New Strand shopping centre to be brutally murdered on a railway line near Walton Lane police station on February 12, 1993. See the Liverpool Echo front-page archive from the time here.

His killers Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, both now 28, were released in 2001 after serving only seven years and eight months in secure children’s homes.

Denise has always argued they did not receive a single day of punishment for their crime and, in her words, not only “got away with murder” but were “rewarded” for killing her son.

She always feared they were not rehabilitated and warned they remained a menace to society.

Last year, Denise found some of her worst fears were realised when it emerged Venables, living in Cheshire under a false identity, had viewed and shared child pornography on the internet.

Venables’s trial on charges of making and distributing indecent images of children brought a new ordeal for Denise.

She sat in the Old Bailey to witness him being sentenced, hearing only his voice since he “appeared” via a closed video link seen only by the judge.

In recent weeks, in the run-up to the date of James’s 21st birthday, Denise was again called upon to consider the issues surrounding Venables’ crimes. She was invited to make an official victim impact statement to the Parole Board which will hear his application for release in July, one year into his two-year sentence for the offences he was found guilty of.

Denise Fergus pays tribute to her beloved son James Bulger on what would have been his 21st birthday

She penned a heart-rending personal account of how the murder devastated her life and continues to overshadow her family, including her three other sons – Michael, 17, Thomas, 13, and Leon, 12 – who she admits she has always “overprotected”.

But she was angered when she was told by probation officers that Venables could apply to read her statement and she would have no opportunity to change or amend it before it goes before his eyes.

Denise said: “I wanted to make the victim statement to let the Parole Board have all the facts and tell them what I think about Venables.

“The probation officer read my statement and she said I might want to change it because Venables could be given the right to see it. I said: ‘All right. I am not going to change a word – but they have at least got to let me read his statement.’

“The probation officer said that was not allowed. I was really angry and horrified about that.

“It seems he has got all the rights and as James’s mother I have not got any.

“I pulled no punches in that statement and now he can get the right to read my innermost thoughts, but I cannot learn anything about what he says and the excuses he is making.

“It makes my stomach churn and that is why I am going to campaign for a change in the law about the way victim’s relatives are treated in parole hearings.”

After today’s muted commemoration of James’s birthday, Denise is looking forward to Sunday and the first event of a new charity she has established in his name – The James Bulger Memorial Trust.

She and her supporters are planning a series of fund raising events and the first goal is to establish a new James Bulger House.

It will be a holiday and respite facility for young victims of crime and hatred, also used to reward children for good behaviour and helping others.

Denise added: “After James died, I made him a promise I would fight for justice for him and he would never be forgotten.

“The real sadness is he would have been so much loved and would have given so much love, and that has been lost.

“He would have been part of my wonderful family and that is a joy so cruelly taken away from him.

“Here we are at his 21st birthday and I am carrying out that promise.

“I will always speak up for James and for victims.

“Nothing can bring him back but if we can see good things done in James’s name, that will be a fitting legacy.”

The first event staged by the James Bulger Memorial Trust is the Race For James. Denise will be joining more than 1,000 runners who are expected to take part in the 5k race in the grounds of Knowsley Hall, starting at 11am on Sunday March 20. Entries remain open.

For more details, visit www.raceforjames.co.uk

Would-be charity volunteers may add their support via www.forjames.org

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#486643 - 16th Mar 2011 4:31pm Re: James Bulger's 21st birthday [Re: ]
Alex85
Unregistered


Very sad and fair play to her for her continued charity work.

But I think she should concentrate on that rather than posing for sad pictures and trying to change what she more than likely can't.

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#486686 - 16th Mar 2011 6:06pm Re: James Bulger's 21st birthday [Re: ]
Silverback Offline
Addict

Registered: 19th Apr 2010
Posts: 255
Loc: Birkenhead
Originally Posted By: Alex85
Very sad and fair play to her for her continued charity work.

But I think she should concentrate on that rather than posing for sad pictures and trying to change what she more than likely can't.



She's a mother, she'll probably die trying, not just for herself but on behalf of other parents.

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#486878 - 16th Mar 2011 11:08pm Re: James Bulger's 21st birthday [Re: ]
sarahdavo Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 1st Jan 2011
Posts: 391
Loc: Egremont wallasey
i still feel pain horror and saddnesss when i hear this little boys name

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#486879 - 16th Mar 2011 11:09pm Re: James Bulger's 21st birthday [Re: ]
Alex85
Unregistered


Fair enough and nobody, I suspect, will ever understand what she's going through, until they are in the same situation.

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#486887 - 16th Mar 2011 11:17pm Re: James Bulger's 21st birthday [Re: ]
kermit Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 6th Jul 2010
Posts: 1946
Loc: My own lil world.
Its still very sad, and how a mother or father could ever get over the death of a child.time has gone so fast and good luck to her on her charity work.
_________________________


Everything happens for a reason,live it,love it and learn from it.

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#486892 - 16th Mar 2011 11:20pm Re: James Bulger's 21st birthday [Re: ]
Alex85
Unregistered


Agreed. You never expect to outlive the child your brought into the world.

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#486919 - 16th Mar 2011 11:38pm Re: James Bulger's 21st birthday [Re: ]
kermit Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 6th Jul 2010
Posts: 1946
Loc: My own lil world.
you never do, you just cant imagine what they have been through, you would actually want to kill the scum who took your child off ya.
_________________________


Everything happens for a reason,live it,love it and learn from it.

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#486941 - 16th Mar 2011 11:54pm Re: James Bulger's 21st birthday [Re: ]
RUDEBOX Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Aug 2008
Posts: 19050
Loc: Bob Land
Denise seems to have found a positive outcome to channel her grief.
The torture and murder of Jamie, still upsets me.
I remember 'whoop-ing' at the News, that he had been sighted with a couple of "kids". I was actually pleased-i thought he would be found safe.
Our son was the same age then and it still disgusts me to this day that 'reins' and 'wrist rope things' literally tripled in price, overnight.
_________________________
Mia Mabel


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