Saturday 18 November 2017

James Bulger's killer Venables loses parole bid

Wesley Johnson in London

James Bulger's killer Jon Venables yesterday lost his bid to be released on parole, the victim's mother said.

Venables, one of two boys who abducted the two-year-old from a shopping centre in Bootle, Merseyside, in February 1993, was jailed for two years last July after pleading guilty to downloading and distributing indecent images of children.

The Parole Board has been considering the case for his release, but James's mother, Denise Fergus, wrote on Twitter: "Good news all just heard venables is NOT getting released xxx."

The Parole Board had to decide whether Venables still posed a risk to the public and will have considered the nature of the offence, the prisoner's offending history, and his progress in jail.

The board also heard James's father, Ralph, describe life since his son's murder.

Speaking outside Liverpool Crown Court on Friday, Mr Bulger's solicitor, Robin Makin, said: "It's a daily nightmare for all of them. It still is. Things have not really got better."

Mr Makin said his client had been forced to relive the details of the murder, including the torture and sexual abuse which James suffered at the hands of his killers.

He added that Mr Bulger suffered depression, sleep loss, nightmares and post-traumatic stress. Mr Makin said it had been an "extremely difficult situation" and the authorities had "done nothing to help".

The murder had "transformed" Mr Bulger, he added.

Venables and Robert Thompson were 10 when they abducted James. The pair walked the toddler several miles to a railway line in Walton, where they tortured and killed him.

They were convicted of murder and served eight years in prison before being freed and issued with secret identities.

It was also revealed that Venables had sex with a woman carer at the secure unit where he was held as a teenager after James's murder.

"The Parole Board will reconsider matters next year and this will be another distressing process," Mr Makin said.

"The Parole Board should give reasons for its decisions."

Irish Independent

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