Jon Venables aged 10 in a police handout issued shortly after the murder of James Bulger. Picture: AP
Jon Venables aged 10 in a police handout issued shortly after the murder of James Bulger. Picture: AP

Bulger’s dad wants killer unmasked

JAMES Bulger's father has demanded his son's killer be stripped of anonymity after he was returned to jail for possessing child pornography.

Last week Jon Venables was arrested in a top secret police operation and returned to prison.

Mr Bulger said that an up-to-date picture of Venables, now 35, should be released to the public and that the child killer should face a life sentence for his role in the kidnap and murder of James in 1993.

"Why has Venables still got the privilege of a secret identity?" Mr Bulger asked in an interview with the Sunday People.

Surveillance camera footage of the abduction of James Bulger from the Bootle Strand shopping mall in February 1993. Picture: Getty
Surveillance camera footage of the abduction of James Bulger from the Bootle Strand shopping mall in February 1993. Picture: Getty

"He was given anonymity back when they were 10 because the authorities were convinced they could rehabilitate him. We know now that failed and so when Venables reoffended he should not only have been recalled to prison for life but stripped of his hidden identity.

"What's really damaging is that when Venables now commits crimes against children he is a grown 35-year-old man and all we see is a photograph of him as a young boy of 10.

"If people saw a photo of him as the adult monster he truly is they would have a very different perception of the person committing the crimes.

"There are no valid excuses left to protect his identity. He should be treated no differently to other child killers."

James Bulger was two-years-old when he was abducted and murdered. Picture: News Corp
James Bulger was two-years-old when he was abducted and murdered. Picture: News Corp

Venables and Robert Thompson were 10 when they snatched James in Bootle, Merseyside, 24 years ago.

They were detained in youth custody indefinitely before being released on a life licence in 2001.

Officials are understood to have found the stash of indecent material on Venables' computer during a routine visit early last week and swiftly alerted cops.

The grim haul is thought to include "sickening" child abuse images similar to those that sparked his recall to jail in 2010.

Mr Bulger's said his son's killer should never be freed again as he warned: "You can't rewire evil."

 

Ralph Bulger (r) with his brother Jimmy. Picture: Supplied
Ralph Bulger (r) with his brother Jimmy. Picture: Supplied

"The child abuse offences he has committed over and over as an adult are part of a very frightening build-up to him murdering another child like James," Mr Bulger told The Sun.

"Let him out again and he will strike again."

Venables was freed on parole in 2013 for downloading and distributing child abuse images.

He is currently at a maximum-security jail, that cannot be identified for legal reasons.

James's mum Denise Fergus said: "Venables has proved beyond any doubt what a vile, perverted psychopath he has always been."

 

"I predicted Venables would reoffend unless they kept a very tight rein on him and I pray that now, someone from the UK government will finally listen to me."

The "immediate recall" procedure means Venables has been returned to prison twice in the last decade despite vast sums - estimated at up to £5 million (AU$8.7 million) being spent on his rehabilitation.

After Venables was freed on parole again in July 2013, Mr Bulger warned: "It is only a matter of time before he caves in to his lust for young children again."

The convicted paedophile, seen as an ultra-high risk ex-offender, has been constantly monitored by probation officials in recent years.

Denise Fergus with her partner Stuart Fergus, at the Old Bailey in 2010 as Jon Venables appeared. Picture: PA
Denise Fergus with her partner Stuart Fergus, at the Old Bailey in 2010 as Jon Venables appeared. Picture: PA

They are believed to have visited his home early last week and found evidence of the images on an electronic device.

Venables will now be held indefinitely while the new allegations are probed and a Parole Board assesses him once again.

In theory, he could now be kept inside for the rest of his life if the Board decides he poses too much of a risk to ever be freed again.

If charged by prosecutors with a new offence, Venables would also face a new Crown Court trial.

CRIME THAT SHOCKED THE WORLD

Venables and Thompson shocked the world when the barbaric details emerged of James Bulger's murder on February 12, 1993.

The pair snatched the toddler from his mum as she let go of his hand for a few seconds to pay for sausages at a butcher's in a shopping centre in Bootle, Merseyside.

Venables and Thompson then led James two miles away through traffic, and along a canal towpath, before battering him with a 22lb (100kg) iron bar.

They poured modelling paint into his eyes, stoned him and clubbed him with half-bricks, before leaving him on the railway line to be sliced in two by a train.

In November 1993, the pair, by now both 11, were found guilty of abducting and murdering James after a trial at Preston Crown Court.

The verdict made them the youngest convicted murderers in Britain for 250 years and they were detained in youth custody indefinitely.

They spent seven years receiving costly treatment and rehabilitation at secure units in the North West before finally being released in 2001.



Bride-to-be gets wedding ring stolen

premium_icon Bride-to-be gets wedding ring stolen

Evans Head bride-to-be shares her nightmare robbery

REVEALED: Plans progress for new surf club

premium_icon REVEALED: Plans progress for new surf club

It would include restaurant, kiosk, space for lifesaving activities

Family day care to close after 'dishonest' educator caught

premium_icon Family day care to close after 'dishonest' educator caught

The Northern Rivers service will close in the coming weeks

Local Partners