Video game features image of slain British toddler

After a mother of a murdered toddler spotted what she said was an image of her son in the game based on the popular U.S. television series "Law and Order", it has been pulled of British shelves, BBC reported Wednesday.

A photo featured in "Law and Order: Double or Nothing" is similar to security camera footage of 2-year-old James Bulger being led away from his mother shortly before he was tortured and killed by two young boys, the BBC said.

The haunting footage, which showed Bulger clasping the hand of one his 10-year-old killers as both left an English shopping mall in 1993, has often been rebroadcast, but a spokesman for Bulger's mother said the image should not be treated as if it were public property.

"It dehumanizes James and it seems like his death enters into some kind of myth or legend," Chris Johnson told the BBC's Radio Merseyside.

"To her, it is very real and an ever-present emotion that she lives with every day of her life," he said.

The game's British distributor, Global Software Publishing Ltd., said in a brief statement it was aware that an image "that may cause offense" and has withdrawn the game from sale in the United Kingdom.

Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, both 10, lured James away from a shopping center in Bootle, near Liverpool in northeast England, as the infant waited outside a butcher's shop for his mother.

They walked him to a railway line and battered him to death with bricks and an iron bar, then left his body on the track to be cut in half.

Convicted of murder, the pair spent eight years in youth custody before being released in 2001 with new identities.

The game, developed by California-based Legacy Interactive Inc., follows the format of the television series, allowing gamers to play as the first half as a criminal investigator and the second half as a prosecutor.