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Although they were separated from their parents, they were within touching distance when their families attended the trial.
News stories reported the demeanour of the defendants.
Thompson and Venables did not speak during the trial, and the case against them was based to a large extent on the more than 20 hours of tape-recorded police interviews with the boys, which were played back in court.
Thompson was considered to have taken the leading role in the abduction process, though it was Venables who had apparently initiated the idea of taking Bulger to the railway line.
Closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance from the New Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle taken on Friday 12 February 1993 showed Thompson and Venables casually observing children, apparently selecting a target.
some of which were later found at the murder scene.
They were sentenced to detention during Her Majesty's pleasure until a Parole Board decision in June 2001 recommended their release on a lifelong licence aged 18.
In 2010, Venables was sent to prison for breaching the terms of his licence, and was released on parole again in 2013.
Vizard replied, "If the issue is on the balance of probabilities, I think I can answer with certainty." Vizard also said that Thompson was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after the attack on Bulger.
A pattern of bruising on Bulger's right cheek matched the features of the upper part of a shoe worn by Thompson; a paint mark in the toecap of one of Venables's shoes indicated he must have used "some force" when he kicked Bulger.
Up to five hundred protesters gathered at South Sefton Magistrates' Court during the boys' initial court appearances.
The boys joked about pushing Bulger into the canal.
Eventually, the boys arrived in the village of Walton, and with Walton Lane police station across the road facing them, they hesitated and led Bulger up a steep bank to a railway line near the disused Walton & Anfield railway station, close to Anfield Cemetery, where they began torturing him.