Thursday, 7 Dec 2023

James Bulger's mum 'frightened' Jon Venables could be back out on the streets

The mother of James Bulger has said the prospect of her son’s killer Jon Venables being freed is ‘frightening’ and he should stay in prison.

It comes after Jon Venables, now 40, has been granted a parole hearing.

Jame’s mum, Denise, has said Venables is still one of the ‘greatest dangers’ to the country, and shouldn’t be let out.

Venables and Robert Thompson, were both 10 when they tortured and killed two-year-old James before leaving his mutilated body on a railway track in Liverpool in 1993.

Both were released from prison in 2001 but Venables has been recalled to prison twice, in 2010 and 2017, for being in possession of more than 1,000 indecent images of children.

He was sentenced to 40 months in prison in February 2018.

Denise told the Mirror: ‘Jon Venables is still one of the biggest dangers to this country. I have no doubt he will offend again if released.

‘Hearing the news about my son’s killer’s parole is still shocking to me.

‘He should never be allowed back in our streets and the prospect that could happen is obviously frightening.’

Venables admitted to having 392 category A, 148 category B and 630 category C images.

He also pleaded guilty to having a paedophile manual on or before 17 November 2017.

A number of the images were of crimes against young boys, which were ‘heartbreaking for any ordinary person to see’, a judge said.

The parole hearing will take place on November 14 and 15, but it will not be heard in public.

If Venables is released, he could be back on the streets by Christmas under a new name.

A Parole Board spokesperson said: ‘An oral hearing has been listed for the parole review of Jon Venables and is scheduled to take place in November 2023.

‘Parole Board decisions are solely focused on what risk a prisoner could represent to the public if released and whether that risk is manageable in the community.

‘A panel will carefully examine a huge range of evidence, including details of the original crime, and any evidence of behaviour change, as well as explore the harm done and impact the crime has had on the victims.

‘Members read and digest hundreds of pages of evidence and reports in the lead up to an oral hearing.’

The panel will also hear evidence from prison officers and psychiatrists.

Victim impact statements from James’s parents Denise Fergus and Ralph Bulger will also be read, MailOnline reports.

The hearing may be the last time Venables can appeal before new parole reforms come before parliament.

Under the Victims and Prisoners Bill proposed by former justice Secretary Dominic Raab, reoffending criminals considered dangerous will never be released from prison.

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