Jon Venables, who was just 11-years-old when he was convicted alongside another boy for abducting 2-year-old James Bulger and beating him to death in 1993, is set to be released.
Venables is one of Britain’s most notorious child killers, and is facing parole for a second time after being sent back to prison on a child pornography conviction.
His original crime, the murder of Bulger, resulted in a life sentence. He was released on parole in 2001 and given a new identity to protect himself. That decision was controversial enough, and the Bulger family is once again facing old wounds in light of Jon Venables’ second parole.
Denise Fergus, the mother young bulger, tweeted: “Venables is getting released. Just don’t believe what I’ve got to go through again.”
Ralph, the boy’s father, added that he was “disappointed and dismayed” by the news.
Others have supported Bulger’s family as they face yet another controversial decision handed down by UK authorities.
“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,” said lawyer Robin Makin.
“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.
“The authorities have already experimented with Jon Venables living a lie and it did not work,” he added.
Venables and his cohort kidnapped Bulger from a shopping center, ultimately beating him to death with bricks and iron bars before leaving his body on a railway line. The story shocked Britain in the early 90’s, and has still remained a matter of public interest to this day.
A Ministry of Justice spokesman tried to downplay the controversy surrounding Venables’ release, saying that the Parole Board was merely doing their jobs, and that Venables could be called back to his sentence at any time if he violates the conditions of his parole.
“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.”
Do you think that Jon Venables should spend the rest of his life in prison?