The actor Tina Malone is facing contempt of court proceedings over a social media post which allegedly identified one of the killers of the toddler James Bulger.
The star of the hit tv show Shameless said she had received a high court summons and asked for help in finding a lawyer on social media.
The attorney general’s office confirmed it had sent a summons to Malone after she allegedly posted an image of Jon Venables.
There is a global ban on publishing anything that reveals the identities of Venables and Robert Thompson. They have been living anonymously with new identities since being released from a life sentence for the kidnap, torture and murder of two-year-old James 25 years ago when they were aged 10.
Malone, 55, from Liverpool, who has appeared in Shameless and Brookside, posted a series of messages on Facebook saying she had been served papers by the high court.
The post said: “I need a lawyer ASAP! I’ve been committed to the High Court!”
Another said: “I’ve had a wonderful day until I opened my front door five minutes ago! The High Court have served me!”
After the murder in February 1993, Venables and Thompson were given new identities that are strictly protected under the terms of a lifelong injunction.
The worldwide injunction bans any images or information relating to their identities being published or shared online and anyone found guilty of identifying the two men could face up to two years in jail.
Malone was accused of retweeting an image of Venables last year, prompting the police to launch an investigation.
At the time she told the Daily Star Sunday: “The police are only doing their job and if they’re going to caution me, arrest me, pull me in, or give me a slap on the wrist, I get that. They’d better be going for the two million other people who have shared Venables’s picture.”
Malone, who is an ambassador of the James Bulger Memorial Trust and is friends with James’s mother, Denise Fergus, and her husband, Stuart, also claimed she did not realise sharing the image was illegal, adding: “I’m not au fait with the law.”
Venables was released on licence from prison in 2001 but has been sent back to jail twice, in 2010 and 2018, for possessing indecent images of children.
Proceedings for contempt are brought by the attorney general, the government’s law officer with the responsibility of policing contempt.
An attorney general’s office spokesman said: “The law officers will review contempt of court allegations made to them, but they cannot comment on the nature of any investigations.
“The law officers remind everyone that an injunction is in place which prevents publication of any images or information claiming to identify anyone as Jon Venables or Robert Thompson.”
A date for the hearing has yet to be fixed.