Jon Venables: Aged 17 He Had Sex With An Adult In Jail
She was suspended from her job. The matter was not mentioned in official reports.
Today, the Mail lads with:
“FURY OVER BULGER KILLER’S TRYST WITH GIRL GUARD.”
Fury? Are we more furious than we are over the cuts in public spending, the death of Sian O’Callaghan, a war in Libya now billed as a “CONFLICT” on the BBC news (a word that harks back to the days of Margaret Thatcher and the UK’s last go-it-alone war in the Falklands Islands)?
Just who are the furious one? Why, it is Denise Fergus, the mother of James Bulger, and the media’s go-to source of fury. Says she:
“The Parole Board should go back to 2001 and review its decision on Venables since it was clearly based on lies and deceit. I want a full inquiry to get to the truth about what went on while they were in those secure homes and how false reports were given to the judges.”
This is very unlikely to happen. The matter seems to have been dealt with. Venables was over the legal age of consent and so was the woman. No crime was committed.
But this is Jon Venables, the child who killed a child. He was 10 when she and Robert Thompson killed James Bulger. There have been many adults who have harmed children who do not feature in the mainstream media. Venables is a name that stirs emotions in readers.
Should Venables have been jailed for life at 10? Should he have been treated like an adult and not been given the chance to grow up? Are all 10-year-olds to be treated like adults?
Venables returned to the news last year when he was sentenced to two years jail for downloading and distributing child pornography. The law dealt with him. But the State had clearly failed in its mission to make him of sound mind.
Denise Bulger is free and right to express her opinion; the killing of her son was horrific. But what she wants will not happen. Venables will not spend his whole life in jail. It is not what the State wants. And the State is in charge of Jon Venables. It is the State that Venables must explain his actions to. The State is the buffer between what one person wants – the many diverse opinions that range from wanting to kill him or rehabilitate him – and what the law achieved by consensus allows.
Do we have faith in the system? Well, so long as the law is consistent, we should…