One of James Bulger's killers Jon Venables has been given yet another identity following an alleged attack in prison by inmates.

The 35-year-old was reportedly attacked by a fellow prisoner a few weeks ago and other inmates have started circulating a recent photo of him using illegal mobile phones.

The killer, who murdered two-year-old Bulger with Robert Thompson in 1993, is being protected by six prison guards amid fears he could be targeted again.

Inmates are said to have "put a price on his head" in the recent attack.

A prison source told The Mirror: "He has to be handled very carefully at all times because there are so many people who want to get at him."

Venables and Thompson were 10 when they tortured and murdered the toddler after luring him away from his mother at a shopping centre in Bootle, Merseyside.

They were released on licence eight years later, granted lifelong anonymity and given new identities. This will be the second new identity Venables would have been given.

The killer was jailed for two years in 2010 after he was found with a hoard of child abuse images on his computer. He has returned to prison for a second time since being released on licence – serving 40 months after being found with more than 1,000 illegal pictures.

In his sentence, the judge called the material "vile" and "heartbreaking".

Desperate to hide who he really is, another source said: "He has been told to tell the other inmates that he's inside for a different offence to try to conceal who he really is."

It comes after it emerged yesterday that at least £259,585 of public funds had been spent on legal aid for Venables including civil claims and judicial reviews.

Venables was also in the news last week after a woman came forward and described dating him as "being seduced by the devil".

In an interview with the Metro, she said: "He was a bit older than me, nearly ten years, but it was a bit like going out with a yob, he was a real know-it-all. It was a Sunday night so we did not stay out, we kissed at the bus stop, and he left me there."