Wednesday 18 September 2019

Bulger dad's warning over Venables release


James Bulger, who was two-years-old when he was murdered. Photo: PA
James Bulger, who was two-years-old when he was murdered. Photo: PA

Jonathan Gray

The father of murdered boy James Bulger has warned one of his son's killers could soon be released from prison with a new identity.

Ralph Bulger said the "predatory killer" formerly known as Jon Venables will be eligible for parole within weeks.

James (2) was tortured and killed by Venables and Robert Thompson, both aged 10, after they snatched him from a shopping centre in Bootle, Merseyside, in February 1993.

Mr Bulger said: "Venables is up for parole any time now, and if it is granted he will be released into the community under a fake name and secret new identity. He is a dangerous, predatory child abuser and killer, and I am terrified he will strike again and harm another child like my James."

Venables and Thompson were jailed for life but released on licence with new identities in 2001. Venables (36) was returned to prison in 2010 and 2017 for possessing indecent images of children.

He is currently serving a 40-month sentence. Half his sentence will have been served in October, with reports a parole hearing will follow.

Mr Bulger said he had warned against Venables's release in 2013 but the parole board was "hoodwinked" into thinking he was reformed.

"He wasn't, and he went on to commit more crimes. He has proven he will never be rehabilitated and will always remain a danger to children," he said.

Irish Independent

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