Sunday 19 January 2020

He was like 'a canary down a mine'

Martin Evans

JON VENABLES felt like a "canary down a mine" after his release from prison in 2001, his solicitor said yesterday.

In a statement in which he expressed remorse for the murder of James Bulger and his shame over the child porn offences, Venables also suggested that he had been ill- prepared to cope with life on the outside.

His solicitor, John Gibson, said Venables had found it difficult to overcome the unhappiness he felt about his past.

"He is extremely remorseful and knows that he has badly let down those who have tried to help him since his release from custody."

"He puts forward no excuse for his conduct. He is genuinely ashamed and has come to an understanding of how children are harmed by those who have even a passing interest in such [pornographic] material, let alone by those who pass it on.

"He says that he appreciates there was no blueprint available to him, or those offering him support -- he felt like a canary down a mine."

Mr Gibson added: "The return to prison was something of a relief when it came."

Sunday Independent

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