Saturday 24 February 2018

Mother's plea over Bulger killer

Denise Fergus, the mother of James Bulger, wants to speak at a parole hearing for one of his killers
Denise Fergus, the mother of James Bulger, wants to speak at a parole hearing for one of his killers

The mother of murdered toddler James Bulger has said she hopes to personally address a parole hearing for killer Jon Venables.

Denise Fergus will argue that Venables, who was aged ten when he and classmate Robert Thompson abducted and murdered two-year-old James, is a psychopath who remains a danger to society.

Thompson and Venables were jailed for life but released on licence with new identities in 2001.

Venables, 30, had his parole revoked in 2010 and was jailed for two years after admitting downloading and distributing indecent images of children. Now he has made a fresh application for release and the hearing is expected to take place in the coming months.

Ahead of Tuesday's 20th anniversary of her son's death, Mrs Fergus, 45, spoke of her hopes to address the parole panel via a video link. Speaking alongside her second husband Stuart, 37, she said: "My message to them is don't release him, I think Venables is still a danger to the public."

Mrs Fergus, from Kirkby, Merseyside, believes there are indications that Venables is an "undiagnosed psychopath" who should be moved to a hospital unit.

"I have very serious concerns that the parole board's approach to Venables is fundamentally flawed," she added. "People say children are not born evil but I strongly believe that he was. He has proven this by offending after his first release, with all the things he had on his computer. He had indecent images of children who were as young as two.

"To have killed a child and been released on licence and then collected these images on a computer, he can't be right in the head. I'm not saying he should never be released, I don't believe that. But now is not the right time because he is a danger."

Venables and Thompson abducted James from the Bootle Strand shopping centre on Merseyside before torturing and killing him. The two boys, who were truanting from school, walked James around the streets of Liverpool for more than two miles, stopping occasionally to kick and punch him.

After taking him to a nearby railway line, they left his body on the tracks in the hope it would be destroyed by a train. It was found two days later by children playing.

Press Association

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