Former detective hits out at Bulger film makers

By Jonny Drury | Llanfyllin | Crime | Published:

A former detective in the case of murdered toddler James Bulger has labelled a controversial film about his death as 'wrong' and 'out of order'.

Phil Roberts

Detainment, directed by Vincent Lambe, is a 30 minute film on the notorious murder of the two-year-old, who was abducted from a shopping centre on Merseyside in 1993 and killed by 10-year-old boys Jon Venables and Robert Thompson.

It has been nominated for an Oscar, causing uproar and has led to calls from James' mother Denise Fergus for it to be withdrawn.

Phil Roberts, a former detective from Llanrhaeadr, who interviewed Thompson regarding his role in the murder, has accused the director of 'playing with people's emotions', and 'throwing morals out of the window', and believes it should be removed by Academy Awards' bosses.

He said: "I am totally, totally against it, I think what they are doing is digging a big hole.

"The reason why they have not contacted the family and Denise was because they know she would have opposed.

"I think what they are doing is playing with people's emotions and it is totally, totally out of order. Morals have totally gone out of the window.

"They were evil little children, it was a freak incident and I think the film is glorifying that.

"I would really like to know if the man who has made this has a family, and has he envisaged how he would have felt if it was his family."


Mrs Fergus has said she is haunted by some of the imagery in the film, and 100,000 people have signed a petition for it to be removed from the awards.

The director has apologised for not consulting Mrs Fergus ahead of making the film, but has said he will not be withdrawing his film from the awards.

Mr Roberts is also unhappy at the way he is portrayed in the short film, and thinks he has been made out to be frightening throughout the interviews.

He added: "They didn't have the courtesy to contact me over it.


"All I have seen are the trailers, and I have seen the face of the man who has played me.

"It is nothing like me, I am told the character is aggressive and is portrayed as frightening and that is all wrong.

"You are taught to strike up a relationship, and you can't be frightening when you are interviewing a child."

Jonny Drury

By Jonny Drury

Senior reporter covering Oswestry and Mid Wales.


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