James Bulger's killer Jon Venables makes bid for freedom today
James Bulger’s mother makes desperate plea as her son’s killer Jon Venables makes bid for freedom today
- Jon Venables was jailed in 1993 for the murder of two-year-old James Bulger
The mother of murdered James Bulger has made a desperate plea to the parole board who will today hear her son’s killer’s case for release to ‘do the right thing’.
Jon Venables was jailed alongside Robert Thompson in November 1993 at the age of 10 for the harrowing murder of toddler James. The pair tortured and killed the two-year-old after snatching him from a shopping centre in Bootle, Merseyside.
Venables was jailed for eight years for the toddler’s murder before being released on strict license. He was then sent back to prison in 2010 and 2017 for possessing indecent images of children, and was given a 40-month sentence.
The Parole Board was asked to review his case in 2020 when he became eligible, but the panel decided he should not be released. Venables, now 41, will make another bid for freedom today in a private meeting.
But James’ mother Denise Fergus, 54, said she endured ‘three decades of hell’ after Venables killed her son and is now urging the board to ‘keep people safe from this monster’ by denying his parole.
A parole hearing for one of the killers of two-year-old James Bulger will take place behind closed doors over the next two days. The oral hearing to decide whether Jon Venables (pictured) can be released after his latest sentence for possessing child abuse images
The mother of murdered James Bulger (pictured) has made a desperate plea to the parole board who will today hear her son’s killer’s case for release to ‘do the right thing’
Denise Fergus (pictured) said she endured ‘three decades of hell’ after Venables killed her son and is now urging the board to ‘keep people safe from this monster’ by denying his parole
She told The Mirror: ‘If he goes on to commit more crimes after you release him, it will be on your shoulders. So, I’m just asking you to do the right thing.’
The heartbroken mother argued that Venables ‘seems to have the upper hand’ because of the protections he has been afforded, such as a private hearing and new identity if his release is granted.
‘Sometimes it feels like we are the criminals, not him, which is ridiculous,’ she added.
The oral hearing to decide whether Venables can be released after his latest sentence for possessing child abuse images is due to take place today and tomorrow.
Chair of the Parole Board for England and Wales Caroline Corby ruled that proceedings should take place in private, in order to respect a long-standing legal order that bans the public identification of Venables.
James’s relatives have also been barred from attending, although victim impact statements will be read as part of the hearing.
Ms Fergus said she yesterday that she was ‘anxious’ ahead of the hearing because ‘fate is in the hands of parole board bosses’. She wants the parole board to ‘keep my son’s killer behind bars’, alleging that doing so is the ‘right decision’ for everyone.
She further argued that Venables has already been given ‘many chances’ at redemption and has ‘blown them all’. She believes he ‘doesn’t care about anybody’ and fears he will harm more people if he is released.
Ms Fergus reiterated that although she is ‘worried’ about the hearing, she has ‘confidence’ in the parole board and hopes the ‘bosses will see what this man is capable of, what he could inflict on society’.
Venables and Thompson kidnapped, tortured and killed James before leaving his mutilated body by a railway line in Liverpool in February 1993. Pictured: James Bulger
Venables and Thompson kidnapped, tortured and killed James before leaving his mutilated body by a railway line in Liverpool in February 1993. Both were jailed for the toddler’s murder in November that year.
He was released on licence in July 2001, and recalled to prison in February 2010 after indecent images of children were found on his computer.
Venables was again released in August 2013, and then called back in November 2017 for the same offence. His most recent parole review was in September 2020 at which his application for parole was rejected.
If he is released, Venables will protected by life-long anonymity order and will live under a new identity.
Experts warn that a decision may not be known for several weeks, alleging one is normally be given around two weeks after the oral hearing has finished, bar any delays.
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