Saturday 18 November 2017

Bulger killer back in jail 'due to drugs and violence'

Jon Venables, 10 years of age in 1993 Photo: Getty Images
Jon Venables, 10 years of age in 1993 Photo: Getty Images

Heidi Blake and Laura Roberts

Jon Venables, one of the killers of the toddler James Bulger, was returned to prison in the UK after developing a serious drug habit and using violence, it has been reported.

Venables is alleged to have had difficulty controlling his temper since his release and was apparently involved in a recent fight before being returned to prison.

The 27-year-old came to the attention of police on two previous occasions: once when he was caught snorting cocaine down an alleyway, and another time when he became involved in a row outside a nightclub, according to a report in the Daily Mirror.

He allegedly began taking cocaine and ecstasy while attending night clubs and music festivals.

He also had several brushes with the police before being subjected to an “immediate” recall to jail last month.

Venables and Robert Thompson abducted James from New Strand shopping centre in Bootle, Merseyside, in February 1993, when they were both 10.

They bludgeoned the toddler to death on a railway line close to his killers' homes in Walton.

Following a 17-day trial at Preston Crown Court, the pair were ordered to be detained at Her Majesty's pleasure, the normal substitute sentence for life imprisonment when the offender is a juvenile.

They were handed new identities and released from custody in 2001, but Venables is now behind bars once more after breaching the terms of their parole.

Their licence conditions included a ban on contacting each other or the family of their victim, as well as any change of behaviour that could put themselves or the public at risk.

The British Ministry of Justice has refused to comment on the recent disclosures.

Denise Fergus, Bulger’s mother, has said that Venables was now back “where he belongs”.

In a statement on her Twitter page, she wrote: “would like to let everyone know Jon Venables is were he belongs tonight behind bars is this my sons justice”.

Her former husband, Ralph Bulger, James Bulger's father, accused Jack Straw, the British Justice Secretary, of placing Venables's human rights above those of his son's family.

He said: "From day one everything has been done to protect the human rights of Venables. He was given a second chance, unlike my son, but he has blown it and now he deserves for those same human rights to be revoked and for the Government to reveal all.

"My biggest fear now is whether another child has been killled and another family is going through the hell we live with every day."

He added: "Without doubt he is where he belongs but he should never have been let out in the first place."

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