James Bulger killer 'pissed off' about stories leaked to press, trial of Star and NoW journalists hears

The killer of toddler James Bulger did not want his hair shaved off in prison for fear of it leaking to newspapers that he looked "like a thug", a court heard.

Jon Venables told his mother in a phone call he was "pissed off" about stories on his time behind bars for child porn offences.

During a phone call on 16 August 2010, he also complained about a story that he was on hunger strike, jurors were told.

The details emerged in the Old Bailey trial of prison officer Scott Chapman, 52, who was allegedly paid £40,000 by newspapers for leaked information about the child killer.

A prison intelligence report read out by the prosecution stated: "The newspaper had said he was on hunger strike, and a cleaner, and on suicide watch.

"He will not want his hair shaved off because he does not want it in newspapers that he looks like a thug.

"He is pissed off that things are getting out. We cannot stop it. His mum says it's not nice for them having to read it."

Venables was jailed for life for murdering toddler James in Liverpool in February 1993 and was given a new identity after being released on licence.

He went on to have his parole revoked in 2010 and was jailed for two years after admitting downloading and distributing indecent images of children, serving time at the prison that Chapman worked at.

The court has heard that Chapman shared a third of his earnings from The Sun, News Of The World, Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror, People, Daily Star and Daily Star Sunday with his ex-partner Lynn Gaffney, 40.

The pair, from Corby, Northamptonshire, both deny misconduct in a public office, while Daily Star Sunday reporter Tom Savage, 37, of south London and a News Of The World journalist, who cannot be named for legal reasons, deny conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office.

The trial was adjourned, and the defence is due to start.

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