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Anorak | Jon Venables Saved By The Nanny State

Jon Venables Saved By The Nanny State

by | 9th, March 2010

IT has taken Jon Venables , one of James Bulger’s killers, almost 18 years but he has finally brought the British judicial system to its knees, writes AGW .

Top politicians and judicial Law Lords seem to dither while faced with an increasing media storm.

It has been the equivalent of watching a nanny give a pyromaniac child a big box of matches. The situation gets worse.

James Bulger Case in pictures

Venables was 10-years-old when he and Robert Thompson, also 10, killed two-year-old James Bulger in a viciously cruel attack. The murder horrified the UK and the two and a half week trial at Preston Crown Court resulted in the the conviction of two children for murder. Thompson and Venables were the youngest individuals to be convicted of murder in the UK.

On their release Judge Elizabeth Butler-Sloss who had conducted the public inquiry in the Cleveland Child abuse scandal during 1987, granted them life-long anonymity.

Yesterday in the House of Lords Baroness Butler-Sloss, left, backed her decision.

Justice Secretary, Jack Straw had already refused, in the House of Commons, to give in to demands to reveal reasons for Venables recall to prison.

Baroness Butler-Sloss said:

“The enormous importance of protecting his anonymity now, and if he is [again] released, because those who wanted to kill him in 2001 are likely to be out there now.”

Meanwhile. James Bulger’s mother threw Jack Straw, who has said he will meet her, a lifeline by saying she was “prepared to wait a bit longer” for details to prevent jeopardising any future court case.

All along this Venables and Thompson sentence and subsequent protection has been an increasingly weird and disastrous catalogue of system failures.

James Bulger Case in pictures

Leading the campaign, well in front and demanding more information, has been The Sun . It has done a good job of digging and has consistently been the first with the news.

There is history: In 1994 The Sun newspaper had given the then Tory Home Secretary Michael Howard a 280,000 signatures petition to increase the time spent by both boys in custody.

The Sun won and in July 1994 Howard announced the boys would be kept in custody for a minimum of fifteen years. They would not be considered for release until February 2008. They would have been 25-years-old before being considered for release and would have been transferred from secure children’s units to adult prisons.

The Law Lords were appalled and Lord Donaldson slammed the political intervention, describing it as “institutionalised vengeance “. The increased minimum term was overturned in 1997 by the House of Lords, who ruled that it was “unlawful” for the Home Secretary to decide on minimum sentences for offenders aged under 18.

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Posted: 9th, March 2010 | In: Key Posts, News Comments (12) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink