Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Mother of James Bulger says Jon Venables is a 'threat and danger to society'

James Bulger was killed after he was snatched from a shopping centre in Bootle. Credit: ITV News

The mother of murdered child James Bulger has urged the parole board to deny one of his killers early release and recognise he is a "threat and danger to society".

The two-year-old was tortured and killed by the man formerly known as Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, who were both aged 10, after they snatched him from a shopping centre in Bootle, Merseyside, in February 1993.

Venables and Thompson were jailed for life but released on licence with new identities in 2001.

Venables, 36, was sent back to prison in 2010 and 2017 for possessing indecent images of children. He is currently serving a 40-month sentence. Half his sentence will have been served in October, with the Daily Mirror reporting a parole hearing will follow at a date to be determined by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).

The boy's father Ralph Bulger warned Venables could soon be releasedfrom prison with a new identity, telling the newspaper the "predatory killer" could be eligible for parole within weeks.

The father of the victim of Jon Venables says the killer could be released from prison soon Credit: PA

A statement released on behalf of James's mother Denise Fergus said she was aware the parole board would be "looking at the release request around October this year" adding: "We can only hope that the parole board will finally admit this man is a threat and danger to society.

We feel early release should most definitely be denied.

If this is not the case then the handling of the parole hearing needs to be done in a manner where all past offences are taken into question, due to Venables showing no remorse or any signs of being rehabilitated.

– Denise Fergus
James Bulger’s mother, Denise Fergus. Credit: PA

Mr Bulger said he had warned against Venables' release in 2013 but the parole board was "hoodwinked" into thinking the killer was reformed.

He added: "Venables is up for parole any time now, and if it is granted he will be released into the community under a fake name and secret new identity.

"He is a dangerous, predatory child abuser and killer, and I am terrified he will strike again and harm another child like my James.

"He has proven he will never be rehabilitated and will always remain a danger to children.

"I don't believe he will stop until he has killed again. The parole board have the power to prevent him having the chance to harm young children again." The case had not yet been referred to the parole board to review, a spokeswoman for the body said.

No parole board meeting is scheduled for October but the case is expected to be referred in the coming months and may start to be considered in early 2020, the PA news agency understands.

It could take up to six months for the parole board to reach a decision. The MoJ, which will set the timing of the review, would not comment on the case.