JON Venables kidnapped, abused and murdered James Bulger in a horrific case that sent shockwaves through the nation.
The mad child murderer, now 40, and his pal Robert Thompson picked up the two-year-old from a shopping center in 1993 before leaving the baby’s body on a railway track.
Who is Jon Venables?
Jon Venables was born on August 13, 1982.
He was just ten years old when he and his friend Robert Thompson kidnapped two-year-old James Bulger from a shopping center in Bootle, Merseyside.
The sick couple tortured and sexually abused James before throwing his body onto a railway line.
Venables and Thompson were convicted of kidnapping and murdering Bulger on November 24, 1993, making them the youngest people in 250 years to be imprisoned for murder.
Did Jon Venables get a new identity after the murder?
In June 2001, aged 18, Venables and Thompson were both released on license from a young offenders’ institution.
After intensive rehabilitation, the two were given a new identity.
Venables’ new identity was changed twice after he told friends he was a convicted murderer.
His current new identity came into jeopardy in February 2018 after James Bulger’s father Ralph launched a Supreme Court case against the order allowing him to live anonymously.
The lawyer representing Ralph and his brother Jimmy told a court on May 2 that the original restraining order against Venables was based on the basis that he had been rehabilitated and would not reoffend.
But Denise Fergus, James’ mother, does not support the trial and said her son’s killer should maintain his anonymity to avoid vigilantism.
On March 4, 2019, it was announced that Venables would maintain his anonymity after a judge ruled that doing so would protect him from “serious violence.”
In their attempt to reveal Venables’ identity, lawyers for Ralph and Jimmy Bulger argued that certain details about the killer and his life were “common knowledge” and easily accessible online.
But family division president Sir Andrew McFarlane rejected the offer, saying it was designed to protect Venables from “execution”.
“My decision is in no way a reflection of the applicants themselves, for whom there is deepest sympathy,” he said.
“The reality is that the arguments for changing the injunction simply have not been made.”
He added: “As Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss noted, (Venables) is ‘uniquely notorious’ and there is a strong possibility, if not a probability, that he would be pursued if his identity were revealed, which could have serious and potentially fatal consequences.” would have consequences.”
“This is therefore a completely exceptional case and the evidence from 2019 is more than sufficient to support the conclusion that there remains a real risk of very significant harm to (Venables).”
Venables could now be back on the streets within months after being granted a two-day parole hearing behind closed doors.
He could be released by Christmas after a hearing was scheduled for November 14th and 15th – but James’ parents called for the denial.
A source told The Sun in June that the killer feared he would never be released from prison because his parole board hearing was repeatedly delayed.
However, the board confirmed today that a hearing will be held.
A spokesman said: “An oral hearing has been scheduled for Jon Venables’ parole review to take place in November 2023. The Parole Board’s decisions focus solely on what risk a prisoner might pose to the public if released and whether that risk is manageable in the community.
“A panel will carefully examine a wide range of evidence, including details of the original crime and any evidence of a change in behavior, as well as examining the harm caused and the impact of the crime on victims.”
“In advance of an oral hearing, members read and digest hundreds of pages of evidence and reports. The hearing will then present statements from witnesses, including probation officers, psychiatrists and psychologists, officials supervising the offender in prison, as well as personal statements from the victim.
“The prisoner and witnesses are then questioned in detail during the hearing, which often lasts a full day or longer. The probation checks are carried out thoroughly and with the utmost care. Protecting the public is our top priority.”
Where is Jon Venables now?
Venables was given a SECOND new identity after his release from prison in 2013.
But he ended up back in a top Category A prison, which we cannot identify for legal reasons, after he was caught with sickening child abuse images following a top-secret police operation.
- February 12, 1993 James Bulger is pictured leaving the shopping center in Bootle, Merseyside.
- 14th of February His battered body is found on the railway line.
- February 18th Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, then ten years old, are arrested.
- November 24th Venables and Thompson, now 11, are convicted of kidnapping and murder and jailed indefinitely.
- 1993-2001 Venables is being held in the eight-bed secure Red Bank unit in St Helens, Merseyside, while Thompson is being held in Barton Moss, outside Manchester. Venables reportedly later had sex with a Red Bank employee who was accused of sexual misconduct and suspended. Apparently she never returned to work there. Venables was also reportedly ordered to tell other residents that he was being held for car theft, not murder.
- January 2001 Murderers gain unprecedented lifetime anonymity amid the most draconian residency bans ever
- June 2001 They are liberated under new identities
- September 2008 Venables was arrested on suspicion of affray following a drink-drive brawl and received an official warning from the Probation Service. He received a caution for cocaine possession after he was found to have a small amount of the Class A drug later that year.
- February 24, 2010 Venables back in prison after violating life license by hoarding child abuse images
- July 2010 Venables was jailed for two years after admitting downloading and distributing indecent images of children
- August 2013 Venables will be released from prison after the parole board recommended his release
- November 2017 Venables was recalled to prison after he was allegedly caught with indecent images of children again
- January 2018 Venables is charged by CPS with making indecent images
- February 7, 2018 Venables was sentenced to 40 months in prison after admitting possessing more than 1,000 indecent images of children
Venables alone is said to have cost the public around £5 million since his release.
He could now spend the rest of his life in prison if the board decides he poses too great a risk to ever be released.
In January 2018, James Bulger’s mother Denise Fergus supported calls for a public inquiry into the toddler’s murder.
What happened to Jon Venables since he was in prison?
- February 7, 2018 Venables admits having a sick pedophile manual at the Old Bailey which taught him “how to have sex with little girls”.
- February 18, 2018 The Daily Star report that Venables was “attacked with boiling water in prison after an inmate discovered his identity.”
- March 2018 The killer has been revealed to be begging for cosmetic surgery at taxpayer expense after photos purporting to identify him were leaked online.
- May 2018 James Bulger’s father Ralph reveals that he has filed a Supreme Court case against the order allowing him to live under the cover of anonymity.
- September 29, 2020 Jon Venables is denied parole and told he will remain in prison for at least two more years before he can reapply for parole.
- September 20, 2023 Venables granted a two-day parole hearing and could be released by Christmas
More on the murder of James Bulger
What is lifetime anonymity?
Under current legislation, underage suspects are automatically granted anonymity in the youth courts, and this is also routinely granted to them when they appear in the crown court, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
However, once a child turns 18, their name can be reported.
Lifelong anonymity is rarely imposed by courts and usually only in the most notorious and horrific cases.
Adult criminals were also given new identities for fear of vigilante attack.
There are currently six notorious British criminals whose crimes are so notorious that they are granted lifetime anonymity.