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That same afternoon, Bulger, from nearby Kirkby, went with his mother, Denise, to the New Strand Shopping Centre. Thompson and Venables took Bulger on a meandering 2.5-mile (4 km) walk across Liverpool to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal where he was dropped on his head and suffered injuries to his face.
The boys joked about pushing Bulger into the canal.
Early press reports and police statements had referred to Bulger being seen with "two youths" (suggesting that the killers were teenagers), the ages of the boys being difficult to ascertain from the images captured by CCTV.
Forensic tests confirmed that both boys had the same blue paint on their clothing as found on Bulger's body.
One of the boys later revealed that they were planning to find a child to abduct, lead him to the busy road alongside the shopping centre, and push him into the path of oncoming traffic. Tym's butcher's shop on the lower floor of the centre at around , Denise, who had been temporarily distracted, realised that her son had disappeared.
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.
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.
The attempted abduction charge related to an incident at the New Strand Shopping Centre earlier on 12 February 1993, the day of Bulger's death.
Thompson and Venables had attempted to lead away another two-year-old boy, but had been prevented by the boy's mother.