James Bulger’s father warns Jon Venables should never be freed


James Bulger’s father has said killer Jon Venables should never be freed after parole experts warned he ‘uses porn as a means of coping,’ in prison. 

Venables and his friend Robert Thompson were 10 in 1993, when they killed James, two, after taking him from a shopping centre in Bootle, Merseyside.  

They served eight years before being freed on licence with lifelong anonymity, before Venables was jailed in 2010 for child pornography.

He was released three years later with yet another new identity but was sent back to prison after more child porn was found in his laptop in 2017.

Venables, now 38, thinks about sex a lot and has a problem with maintaining relationships, according to details contained in an official three-page Parole Board summary seen by The Sun. 

Nearly 30 years after his son’s death, James’ father Ralph Bulger asked The Mirror: ‘How can anyone say this monster is safe to live among us ever again?’ 

Jon Venables, the killer of two-year-old James Bulger, has been refused parole and told he must stay in jail after his child porn conviction

Describing his son's killer as a 'monster,' Ralph Bulger welcomed a decision by the parole board not to release Venables. He said: 'I believe the only way to prevent him from killing another baby like James is to keep him locked up for life'

Describing his son’s killer as a ‘monster,’ Ralph Bulger welcomed a decision by the parole board not to release Venables. He said: ‘I believe the only way to prevent him from killing another baby like James is to keep him locked up for life’

Venables’ bid to be released on parole was refused last month and it is understood he will have to spend another two years in jail before he can apply for it again.

But an official note revealed why parole officers thought Venables was not ready for release.

It read: ‘Risk factors identified in subsequent reviews include thinking about sex a lot, problems in maintaining relationships, concerns about self-awareness, and his ability to deal with stress. 

Venables and Thompson snatched James from his mother as she paid in a butchers at a shopping centre. The pair led him along a canal towpath before battering him with a 22lb iron bar and leaving him to be hit by a train on the railway line

Venables and Thompson snatched James from his mother as she paid in a butchers at a shopping centre. The pair led him along a canal towpath before battering him with a 22lb iron bar and leaving him to be hit by a train on the railway line

‘Features leading up to his offending as an adult included a sense of dissatisfaction and lack of fulfilment in life, a need for excitement, and a tendency to turn to sex or pornography as a means of coping.’

Following the parole board’s findings, Mr Bulger said: ‘I believe the only way to prevent him from killing another baby like James is to keep him locked up for life.

‘The board’s decision shouts loud that his handlers admit they got it wrong in the past and he is not safe to be released. He downloaded thousands of images of child sex crimes, that’s a lot of victims.’

Both Venables’ location and his new identity are subject to a strict gagging order and were not included in the report.

Venables, 38, and his friend Robert Thompson were 10 in 1993, when they killed James Bulger (pictured), two

Venables, 38, and his friend Robert Thompson were 10 in 1993, when they killed James Bulger (pictured), two 

The note mentioned Venables’ progress in prison, where he has a job, and named ‘protective factors’ that would need to be brought in if he was to be released – including making ‘constructive use of his time’.

It said there was a long list of ‘very strict limitations’ needed, including monitoring his contacts and movement, on his potential release in two years’ time. 

Venables would normally be allowed out automatically after 20 months, but he has a life licence, meaning he has to face the parole board before he is released and is on parole until he dies.  

James' father Ralph Bulger hailed the decision: 'This is the first time ever that the right decision has been made regarding my son's killers'

James’ father Ralph Bulger hailed the decision: ‘This is the first time ever that the right decision has been made regarding my son’s killers’

He was caught with category A child porn photos, the most serious type, and he also admitted having a ‘paedophile manual’.

Sentencing him to 40 months’ jail in 2018, Mr Justice Edis said: ‘The children depicted were often very young and vulnerable, there is discernible pain and distress suffered.’

Venables has spent more than £65,000 of taxpayers money fighting legal challenges to his lifelong anonymity by Ralph Bulger since his release.

In March last year Judge Sir Andrew McFarlane rejected the case, saying the injunction was intended to protect Venables from ‘being put to death’.

‘(Venables) is “uniquely notorious” and there is a strong possibility, if not probability, that if his identity were known he would be pursued resulting in grave and possibly fatal consequences,’ he said.

‘This is, therefore, a wholly exceptional case and the evidence in 2019 is more than sufficient to sustain the conclusion that there continues to be a real risk of very substantial harm to (Venables).’   

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, 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

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.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk