James Bulger's mother says killer Jon Venables should stay in prison

James Bulger's mother says killer Jon Venables should stay in prison

October 1, 2020

James Bulger’s mother says killer Jon Venables should never be released from prison after parole board refused his latest bid for freedom

  • Denise Fergus said it was the ‘first time something has ever gone her way’ 
  • Her son James was two-years-old when he was murdered in Bootle, Merseyside 
  • Venables was serving 40-month sentence for having indecent child images

The mother of James Bulger said her son’s killer Jon Venables should never be released from prison after parole board refused his latest bid for freedom. 

Denise Fergus said it was the ‘first time something has ever gone her way’ in her long fight for justice. 

Her son was two-years-old when Venables and Robert Thompson, both ten at the time, took him from a shopping centre and tortured him in Bootle, Merseyside, in 1993. 

Denise Fergus (pictured) said it was the ‘first time something has ever gone her way’ in her long fight for justice

Venables was sent back to prison in 2010 and 2017 for possessing indecent images of children and is serving a 40-month sentence, according to the Mirror.  

The Parole Board were reviewing his case, but it was refused on September 29.   

Ms Fergus told ITV that she ‘definitely thought he would be given parole’ and feels like she is ‘finally getting somewhere’. 

James Bulger (pictured) was two-years-old when Venables and Robert Thompson, both ten at the time, took him from a shopping centre and tortured him in Bootle, Merseyside, in 1993

She added that she said had ‘said for years’ that Venables would ‘go on to commit another crime’ and ‘has done it three times now’.  

She said that her son’s killer was given ‘everything he asked for’ and was never properly punished for his crimes. 

Ms Fergus said: ‘This is the first time i feel like he is getting punished now because I don’t think he is getting everything he asks for now.’

Venables (pictured) was sent back to prison in 2010 and 2017 for possessing indecent images of children and is serving a 40-month sentence

When it came to sentencing Venables for his crimes, she said she felt like her feelings were never taken into account. 

She added: ‘What happened to James I don’t think was taken into account.’  

What has happened to Jon Venables and Robert Thompson since James Bulger’s murder?

Jon Venables, pictured as a boy, has been given lifelong anonymity by the courts

Jon Venables and Robert Thompson were found guilty of killing Bulger in November 1993 and were sentenced to custody until they reached 18.

They were freed in 2001, aged 18, and given a new identity to protect him from the risk of vigilante attacks.

They were made the subjects of so-called ‘Mary Bell orders’, lifetime anonymity court injunctions named after Mary Bell, who was found guilty of killing two boys at a hearing in Newcastle in 1968.

Only six people have been made subject of the orders; Venables, Thompson, Bell, Maxine Carr, who was convicted of perverting the course of justice in the Soham murders, and two brothers who, aged ten and 11, tortured two younger boys in Edlington, South Yorkshire in 2009.

At the time of Venables’ first release from prison, a psychiatrist ruled that he did not pose a danger to the public and was extremely unlikely to commit any further offences.

Years later it emerged Venables had been detained in Vardy House – a small eight-bed section of Red Bank secure unit in St Helens on Merseyside – where it’s said he made such good progress he was kept there for eight years, despite it actually being a short-stay remand unit.  

Shortly before his release in 2001, when aged 17, Venables was reported to have allegedly had sex with a woman who worked at the Red Bank secure unit where he was being held. The allegations were investigated and a female staff member accused of sexual misconduct was suspended, never to return.

Venables’ release under his new identity went ahead and he is known to have been living independently by March 2002 – some time thereafter beginning a relationship with a woman who had a five-year-old child, although he denies having ever met them.

He was then reported to have had a number of ‘younger girlfriends’ which suggested he was enjoying a delayed adolescence.

As his supervision was apparently reduced, he developed drinking and drugs problems, and he compromised his identity at least twice by telling friends he was a convicted murderer.

In September 2008, he was arrested on suspicion of affray after a drunken brawl and was given a formal warning by the probation service for breaching the good behaviour terms of his licence.

Venables and Robert Thompson were freed eight years after they were first locked up

Later the same year, Venables was cautioned for possession of cocaine after he was found with a small amount of the class A drug.

When a probation officer later visited his home in Cheshire to discuss his fears that he could be in danger, he was attempting to destroy the hard drive of his computer.

The hard drive was later examined by police, who discovered that it contained dozens of indecent images of children.

Venables admitted he had posed online as a 35-year-old woman who had abused her eight-year-old daughter, and was returned to prison.

During his latest imprisonment he was given yet another new identity because of the risk posed by a previous security breach. Venables was paroled again in 2013 and took on his fourth new identity.

He was sentenced to 40 months in prison after pleading guilty to having more than 1,000 indecent images of children, in February 2018.

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