1. ITV Report

Bulger mother Denise Fergus: "I've been walked all over"

Denise Fergus Photo: Press Association

The mother of murdered toddler James Bulger said she feels like she has let her son down after learning of the decision to release one of his killers from prison.

Jon Venables has been granted parole after he was sent back to jail for two years 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.

James Bulger was a toddler when he was murdered by Jon Venables and Robert Thompson Credit: Press Association

James's mother Denise Fergus and father Ralph Bulger previously addressed Venables' parole hearing and pushed for him to remain in prison.

But yesterday the Parole Board confirmed that the decision has been made to release him back into the community.

Mrs Fergus today accused authorities of effectively putting "two fingers up to me" by deciding to release Venables.

In an interview with Channel 5 News, she said: "I totally do feel let down but more importantly I feel like I've let James down...

"I thought I was finally getting somewhere and for them to just push me off that cliff you know, I just can't believe how I'm getting treated and I don't know why they're treating me like this.

"I can feel my blood boiling right now because once again I've been walked all over. I was put on a mountain a few weeks ago when they said they were going to listen to me and I feel they haven't listened to me at all. They've just said that to get me out that room.

"As soon as my back was turned they put two fingers up to me and they've carried on with their lives. It's OK for them - they can go home, they can get on with their lives. It's me that's got to live with this each and every single day."

– Denise Fergus

She went on: "They messed up once by releasing him. Now they're doing it again, they're messing up again. They just don't know how to handle him. They just don't want him in their care so what they're doing is just throwing him back into the public."

She said she feared innocent people could fall victim to vigilante attacks, and added: "They couldn't monitor him the first time, what makes them so sure they're going to monitor him now?...They let him slip through their fingers the first time round so no doubt it's going to happen again."

Mrs Fergus also called for stronger sentences, and wants to meet Prime Minister David Cameron about the issue.

"I'd say our law needs changing. We need stricter and stronger sentences. And I do want to meet him because I do want to bring this in. I seriously think that we need new laws, stricter sentences, longer sentences because they can't keep getting away with murder."

James Bulger 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.

Robert Thompson and Jon Venables in police custody in 1993 Credit: Police

The two boys were jailed for life but released on licence with new identities in 2001.

James' father Ralph 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."

He added: "For Ralph and his family the living nightmare continues and is exacerbated by the problems now created by the reckless decision to free Jon Venables without any publicly disclosed safeguards.

"Jon Venables is a sex offender who has murdered once and made it clear when posing as the mother of a child that an 'ultimate thrill' for him was the sexual abuse of a child."

Mr Makin said it was not known if the authorities were seeking to give Venables a further new identity "at considerable public expense" but said doing so would be an "unprecedented and unjustifiable risk".

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: "The re-release of life-licensed offenders is directed by the independent Parole Board once they are satisfied they can be safely managed in the community.

"Their life licence lasts for the rest of their lives, and they may be recalled to prison at any time for breaching their licence conditions. Additionally, they will be subject to strict controls and restrictions for as long as their risk requires them."

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