Father of James Bulger criticises release of killer Jon Venables
Parole board confirms decision to release Venables had been made
File photo of Jon Venables, 10 years of age, posing for a mugshot for British authorities on February 20th, 1993.
The father of murdered toddler James Bulger said yesterday the decision to release one of his son’s killers from prison filled him “with terror”.
Jon Venables was granted parole after he was sent back to jail for accessing child pornography. He had his parole revoked in 2010 and was jailed for two years after admitting downloading and distributing indecent images of children.
Earlier this year, James’s mother, Denise Fergus, and father, Ralph Bulger, both addressed Venables’s parole hearing and pushed for him to remain in prison.
However, the parole board yesterday confirmed the decision has been made to release Venables.
A spokesman said: “We’ve had confirmation that all parties have been told and we can confirm that it was a release decision. He will be released.”
Mr Bulger’s solicitor, Robin Makin, said: “The decision to release Jon Venables is misguided and fills Ralph with terror. Ralph fears that an innocent person may be mistaken for Jon Venables and be injured or even killed.
“If such occurs then Ralph will feel guilty of not having done enough to have prevented such an obvious tragedy.”
Speaking on her official Twitter page, Ms Fergus said: “Just don’t believe what I’ve got 2 go through. AGAIN.” Later she posted: “Venables is getting released.”
This year marked the 20th anniversary of James’s murder. The two-year-old was abducted, tortured and killed by Venables and Robert Thompson in Liverpool in February 1993.
Venables and classmate Thompson, who were just 10 years old at the time, abducted James from the Bootle Strand shopping centre before carrying out the murder which shocked the nation.
The two boys were jailed for life but released on licence with new identities in 2001.
Venables had his parole revoked in 2010 and was jailed for two years after admitting downloading and distributing indecent images of children.
Mr Bulger, who earlier this year released a book called My James, spoke of how, in his darkest moments, he blamed his former wife for letting their son out of her sight – a reaction which now makes him feel deeply ashamed. – (PA)