Sunday 18 August 2019

James Bulger's mum calls killer Venables 'a vile psychopath' as he returns to prison

Jon Venables, one of the child killers of toddler James Bulger. It has been reported that Venables has been returned to prison for a second time (PA)
Jon Venables, one of the child killers of toddler James Bulger. It has been reported that Venables has been returned to prison for a second time (PA)

Martin Evans

The mother of murdered toddler James Bulger has accused the authorities of trying to cover up news that one of her son's killers has been returned to prison, after allegedly being caught with child abuse images.

Jon Venables (35) was arrested last week after probation officers, who have been monitoring him closely, reportedly discovered indecent material stored on a device at his home.

It is the second time he has been accused of the offence since being released from prison for torturing and murdering two-year-old James in 1993.

But James's mother, Denise Fergus, accused the probation service of trying to cover up the fact.

She said: "Venables has now proved beyond any doubt what a vile, perverted psychopath he has always been.

"But what hurts me most is the way the probation service has tried to cover this up.

"Venables was taken back into custody a week ago, yet I was only informed hours before it hit the press.

"But it's clear that they were trying to keep this quiet, until they got a call from the media," she said.

Ms Fergus said that she was called at 8.40pm on Wednesday and simply told that Venables, who now has a new identity, had breached the terms of his licence and been returned to prison.

"That left me extremely upset, angry, feeling insulted," she added.

"I will be taking advice from my lawyer before making a formal complaint to the probation service. I hope finally I might get some justice for my son, James.

"I predicted Venables would reoffend unless they kept a very tight rein on him and I pray that now, please, someone from the UK government will finally listen to me."

Venables and his accomplice, Robert Thompson, tortured and murdered James Bulger in 1993, when they were just 10 years old.

Described by the trial judge as "wicked", he said they had committed a crime of "unparalleled evil and barbarity".

They were both sentenced to be held at Her Majesty's Pleasure for a minimum of eight years, or until they were not deemed to be a danger to the public.

Venables was released from detention in 2001 and provided with a new identity, but in 2010 he was returned to prison after being given a two-year sentence for downloading child abuse images.

He was granted parole in 2013 and, at huge cost to the UK taxpayer, was provided with a second new identity.

But he has now been returned to prison, while police investigate the alleged discovery of more paedophile images. It is understood he is being held at a maximum security prison, where he is being kept in a special wing for his own protection.

Venables was returned to prison for breaching the terms of his life-long licence, but his arrest will lead to calls that he should be returned to prison indefinitely in order to protect the public.

In 2010 he admitted downloading and distributing 57 indecent images, featuring children as young as two.

It also emerged that he had posed as the mother of an eight-year-old girl to contact a paedophile online and share images of child abuse.

In September 2008, he was arrested on suspicion of affray after he and another man became involved in a drunken street brawl.

Later the same year he was cautioned for possession of cocaine after he was found with a small amount of the class A drug, which was said to be for personal use.

He currently lives in the north of England, under an assumed identity.

Irish Independent

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