Brit youth wrongly accuses man of murder

April 8, 2010 at 2:07 PM
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DOUGLAS, Isle of Man, April 8 (UPI) -- A British teenager has been found guilty after wrongly accusing a man of being one of the convicted killers of a 2-year-old boy in 1993.

Wayne Dale, 19, of Lonan had posted on Facebook last fall that the innocent man, who worked at a store on the Isle of Man, was Robert Thompson, one of James Bulger's killers, the Daily Mail reported Thursday. That triggered Internet rumors that Thompson, convicted in the toddler's slaying along with Jon Venables, was living on the island following their 2001 release from prison. Thompson and Venables, who were 10 years old at the time they kidnapped and killed the little boy, were given new identities to protect them.

Dale had written in his post last October: "I live on the Isle Of Man and word has it Robert Thompson is over here and his cover has been blown while working in B&Q. Whether it's just another rumor I don't know."

In another message, he wrote: "I don't know how long they served in prison but they were released from jail, given false identities and now live in the Isle of Man entirely free to do as they please."

The Mail said police eventually tracked down Dale and last month he pleaded guilty to two counts of using provoking behavior. He also pleaded guilty to an unrelated theft charge, the newspaper said.

Dale is to be sentenced this month.

Venables was returned to prison in February after allegedly committing child pornography offenses. He has yet to be charged in that case.

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