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James Bulger killer Jon Venables denied parole

Written by on 29 September 2020

One of James Bulger’s killers – Jon Venables – has had his application for parole rejected.

Now 38, Venables and his friend Robert Thompson were 10 when they killed the two-year-old in 1993, having taken him from a shopping centre in Bootle, Merseyside.

The pair were freed on license in 2001 after eight years in prison. They were both granted lifelong anonymity and have lived under new identities since.

Venables is currently in jail for possessing indecent images of children and the Parole Board told Sky News his application for release had been denied.

“We can confirm that a panel of the Parole Board did not direct the release of Mr Venables following an assessment of his case,” a spokesperson said.

“Under current legislation Mr Venables will be eligible for a further review within two years. The date of the next review will be set by the Ministry of Justice.”

James’ father Ralph Bulger told The Mirror he could “rest easy” after learning of the decision.

“This is the first time ever that the right decision has been made regarding my son’s killers,” he said. “I am so relieved because I was convinced he was getting out – just as he has done before.”

Venables was recalled to prison for two years in 2010 after pleading guilty to downloading and distributing indecent images of children and breaking his parole conditions by returning to Merseyside.

He was released with a second new identity, before being recalled to prison again in 2017 over indecent images of children. He was sentenced to three years and four months in 2018.

Mr Bulger lost a bid last year to have information about his son’s killer made public, with a judge saying an anonymity order is necessary to stop Venables “being put to death”.