Mr Thompson, now 36, said he is a “better person” after spending eight years in a secure unit after he and Jon Venables abducted, tortured and murdered two-year-old James in Bootle, Liverpool in 1993. Thompson and his friend Jon Venables, both 10-years-old at the time, snatched James from a shopping centre before battering him to death with bricks and an iron bar. He was found on a railway line on February 12, 1993. But in a statement that convinced the Parole Board he should be freed, he said: “I do feel aware I am now a better person and have had a better life and a better education than if I had not committed the murder.
“There is obviously an irony to this but it is part of my remorseful feelings as well.”
Thompson also apologised for murdering James after being locked at at Barton Moss secure unit in Manchester in documents revealed in a Channel 5 documentary tonight.
He said: “I, personally, wish Mr and Mrs Bulger and their families to know that I am desperately sorry for what I did, and aware of the enormity of what I did.”
Thompson said he pleaded not guilty to the murder and blamed his fiend Venables over fear of revenge attacks.
He said: “This is why I felt unable to admit my part in the murder. I wanted to tell what had happened, but I could not accept the blame, so I had to tell and put the blame for everything on Jon Venables’ shoulders.
“I was too frightened to accept any blame myself.
“Looking back, I very much regret that I did nothing to stop it.”
James’ parents Ralph and Denise reacted with fury at the killer’s claims saying it had confirmed their long-held beliefs that Thompson and Venables had been rewarded for their crimes.
Mr Bulger, 51, told the Daily Mail: “For 25 years I have insisted that Thompson and Venables have been rewarded not punished for murdering my baby son.
“The message here is horrific, kill a child and you will get a privileged and cosy life in return.
“I have always said that these pair have never been punished at all.’
“When these two were still locked up they went without nothing.
“They got a first class education, counsellors and therapists while James’s family was thrown to the wolves with our grief.
“It terrifies me that this sends out a message that you can commit a crime as heinous as killing James and get away with it.”
James Bulger: The New Revelations’airs on Channel 5 tonight at 9pm.