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Posts Tagged ‘James Bulger’

Jon Venables may never get out of prison

Jon Venables is back in prison. Venables, infamous for being the child who murdered a child, has been jailed for 40 months for possessing pornographic images of children and what the trial judge called with no little tautology, a “sickening” paedophile manual. The “Jazz Guide” as it was labelled on a laptop Venables kept hidden behind the headboard at his West Midlands home, showed what Mr Justice Edis called “vile” advice on how to rape children.

The Star says Edis thought the evidence show Venables was “at least contemplating carrying out sex attacks on children”. It’s worth looking at everything the judge said in summary. It might even be worth repeating what Venables told police as he was being driven to a police station: “This is my own fault. I’ve let people down. I’ve had stupid urges, inquisitive. I’m not going to be seeing this for a lot of years. It won’t be slap on the wrist for me.” He also claimed too having “no desire to have physical contact with children in real life.”

Is downloading images from the ‘dark web”, the same as seeing images in a book and storing them in your head? And has Venables, as the Sun declares on its front page and once again in page 5, “GOT AWAY WITH IT”? And there’s Denise Fergus and Ralph Bulger, the parents of James Bulger, the two-year-old Venables and his friend Robert Thompson murdered. Mr Bulger calls the sentence “an insult”. He wants Venables’ new identity made known. “Unmask the monster,” says the Mail.

Here are the remarks – supplied by the Judicial Office – in full made by Mr Justice Edis at the Old Bailey as he sentenced Jon Venables.

The victim surcharge applies. I make a deprivation order for the laptop computer.

I make a sexual harm prevention order with the prohibitions set out in the order because those terms are necessary for protecting the public from sexual harm from you. That order will last indefinitely, that is to say until (if ever) the court discharges it.

You have been convicted of a sexual offence to which the Sexual Offences Act 2003 applies, and I certify that fact. You will therefore be subject to the notification requirements of that Act for an indefinite period.

The offences of which you have been convicted are such that you may be barred under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006. Jon Venables, you have pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity to three counts of making indecent photographs of children contrary to s.1 of the Protection of Children Act 1978, counts 1-3 on the Indictment, and one offence of possession of a paedophile manual contrary to s. 69(1) of the Serious Crime Act 2015, count 4 on the Indictment. The relevant guideline suggests a sentence before plea discount of 12 months, or, after discount for the plea of guilty, eight months. The sentence I am about to impose will be much longer than that, but must remain proportionate to the offences with which I am dealing.

This case is unique because when you were 10 years old you took part in the brutal murder and torture of James Bulger. That was a crime which revolted a nation and which continues to do so, even after the 25 years which have passed since it happened. He was two-years old. The facts of what you did are notorious and there is no need for me to repeat them here. From all that I know about James’ parents it is clear that you not only took his young life, but have also devastated theirs.

You received a life sentence for that crime, and after serving about eight years you were released subject to licence. That licence lasts for life, and there are conditions attached to it. Breach of the conditions means that you can be recalled to serve a further indefinite period of imprisonment under the terms of the life sentence. The commission of criminal offences while on licence is a breach of the licence and you have now been convicted on two occasions since your first release. This is the second of those convictions. In 2010 you were convicted for the first time of similar offences to those which are before me, and received a sentence of two years’ imprisonment. Although entitled to release after half of that sentence, 12 months, you were detained until 2013 under the terms of the original life sentence. The immediate effect of the licence today is that you will not get credit for the time spent in custody awaiting today, and, more importantly, that there is no guarantee that you will be released when you have served the sentence I shall pass shortly.

The Parole Board is the body which has responsibility for deciding when you will actually be released in this case. What I have to decide is what punishment is appropriate for these offences. In that respect I am required to follow a guideline unless it would be contrary to the interests of justice to do so. Because the legal language of the offences has a technical meaning I wish to explain exactly what you have been convicted of.

You have pleaded guilty to ‘making’ the images listed in counts 1-3. This means that you downloaded them from the internet for your own gratification. You did not yourself create the images and you were not present when someone else did that. You did not intend to distribute or sell them. The point about child pornography is that it involves films and images being made of very serious sexual offences being committed against defenceless children. It is heart breaking for any ordinary person to see this kind of material. The consumer of it, you, therefore does two things. First, he emerges as a threat to children from real harm caused by his own offences against them. A person with a perverted sexual interest in children plainly poses a higher risk than one without. Secondly, by being a consumer of this dreadful material he causes others to make it and thereby promotes the commission of very serious and damaging offences by others. These are the reasons why the offence is regarded so seriously.

There were 1170 images, and moving images were included. 392 were in category A which is the most serious class of image. These include multiple images and films of penetration of children and also some images where the young victim appears to be in physical pain. Some of them were babies. Given your history, it is significant that a number of the images and films were of serious crimes inflicted on male toddlers. You did this using a browser called ‘TOR’ which allows anonymous browsing on the internet and access to what is called the dark web. It was designed to enable you to obtain these images without being detected.

In addition, you had a paedophile manual, which you acquired in the same way. This is a vile document which gives detailed instructions on how to have sex with small children, as it puts it, ‘safely’. The use of that word in that document reveals the cynical brutality of its author. This manual was created by someone with some detailed anatomical knowledge and is designed to encourage its readers to perpetrate the most serious sexual offences against very small children. It is a direct incitement to do this. Although the maximum sentence for this offence is far lower than the maximum penalty for the other three offences, it is, in my judgment, no less serious.

Offences contrary to s.1 of the Protection of Children Act 1978 are specified offences and the court should consider whether an extended sentence should be imposed. Is there a significant risk of serious harm to the public from the commission by you of further specified offences? I accept that downloading images for private viewing does not directly cause serious harm to the public.

The existence of a market for this kind of depravity undoubtedly causes serious offences to be committed by others against children so that the images can be created. This does cause children all over the world to be seriously harmed. That dreadful fact does not appear to trouble your conscience at all. As a consumer of the products of this barbarous evil, you, along with many others, indirectly cause it to happen. The commission of these offences and the possession of the manual suggest that you have a compulsive interest in serious sexual crime against small children. The possession of the manual also suggests that you were at least contemplating the possibility of moving on to what are called ‘contact offences’, that is actual sexual crime against children. This is against a background where you know the very substantial penalties you face if you are caught.

The incentive for you to live a quiet a law abiding life out of the public eye does not just come from penalties imposed by the criminal justice system, which is why there is an injunction in place to protect your life. You took a very great risk when you committed these offences and this suggests to me a compulsive desire which you could not control. You did this on a day when you were undergoing assessment in the contact of your life licence. This shows how manipulative and dishonest you are. There is no evidence that you have ever actually embarked on the commission of any contact offence. There is no evidence of grooming or, in this set of material, of you having been in contact with other men with a view to gaining access to children.

The pre-sentence report was prepared by someone who has had significant dealings with you. Its author concludes that you present a high risk of serious harm to children. It is agreed that the threshold for an extended sentence is met but submitted on both sides that the question is academic since the extended period of licence would add nothing to the powers which the Parole Board already has and will have for the rest of your life because of the life sentence.

I conclude that the risk you pose to the public is fully addressed by the fact that you are subject to a life sentence. That is a far more potent long term protection for the public than anything I can do today. I have read a pre-sentence report which contains information which, in conjunction with this conviction and sentence, will cause the Parole Board to examine the case when considering release with particular care. I have referred to the opinion of its author already, which will be part of the material on which any release decision will be made. Any evidence at all that you had turned your attention to any children in what I shall call ‘the real world’ would, of course, change this assessment and would probably also result in additional offences being charged with more extensive sentencing powers available.

The relevant guideline suggests a starting point of one year with a range going up to three years. However, the paedophile manual requires an uplift as do the previous convictions in 2010 for offending of this kind. It is a different kind of thing from the images and films because its purpose is to inspire actual offending. It is probably not designed to excite or to achieve sexual gratification simply by being looked at, but to give practical advice. It is extremely important that possession of this kind of thing should be clearly punished and I consider that a consecutive term is required.

Further, there are aggravating features as identified in the guideline. The offences were committed whilst on licence and in breach of a number of the terms of that licence. For the reasons I have stated already, this is a particularly serious aggravating feature in this case. Your breach of licence was manipulative, persistent and dishonest as well as seriously criminal in itself. The children depicted were often very young and vulnerable, there is discernible pain and distress suffered by some of the children depicted and the collection includes moving images.

The number of images is substantial, though much larger collections are routinely encountered in these cases. The proportion of category A images, almost exactly one third, suggests deliberate searching for and collection of this most repulsive material. In doing that, you accessed the dark web. For these reasons the sentence can properly be increased into the next category range within the guideline, which is usually reserved for offences involving distribution of images of this kind. This involves following the guideline by using its ranges, but by doing so flexibly when confronted with a wholly exceptional case such as this.

There is very limited mitigation apart from the plea for which you will receive full credit following the guideline. It is true that you were immediately candid with the police when arrested, but, as is common in this type of case, you did not have much choice. Your difficulties in living in the community are obvious, but you do not have the mitigation that you only offended on one day. Your offending went back some months and required ingenuity to keep it hidden. The offending is so serious that only an immediate custodial sentence will suffice. That sentence must be above the usual range in the guideline to which I have just referred for the reasons I have given. But for your pleas the total sentence would have been five years.

Giving you full credit of one third for those pleas as I am required to do, the sentence on you is as follows: Count 1: 32 months; Count 2: 2 years; Count 3: 18 months; Count 4: 8 months consecutive. This makes a total term of 40 months. At the half way point of this sentence you will be released from this sentence. Whether you will actually be released from prison at that point depends on what action is taken in relation to your life sentence.

There are many horrific crimes. But not of them were used by politicians and press for a cause.

Posted: 8th, February 2018 | In: News, Tabloids | Comment

Jon Venables: turning James Bulger’s murder into good and moral entertainment

Jon Venables, the child who killed a child, is back in the news. News is that he’s been caught in possession of child abuse images, just as he was in 2010. This means he’s back in prison.

The Sun leads with the news, saying how Venables’ probation officials spotted the images on a computer belonging to the 35-year-old who together with Robert Thompson killed James Bulger in February 1993. Over pages 4 and 5, we see the familiar photos: Venables at age 10 stood for the police cameras; his partner in crime Robert Thompson in the same pose; and that haunting CCTV picture of James Bulger being walked form a Merseyside shopping centre to his gruesome death.

Venables, of course, is not known by that name. He got a new name, one which cannot and should not be revealed. Right now he’s in a category A prison, his alleged offences under investigation. If it goes to court, the paper says Venables will be afforded a crown court trial. Venables keeps costing the State money. Last time in prison, we learn he was given around-the-clock protection, and “access to guitar lessons and a rowing machine”. Before his release in 2001, he was given “years of costly treatment”.

The crime was heinous, one that shocked us all. But the story is without end. The country does try to seek out Venables, much less exact vigilante justice. So what is the purpose of the Sun’s story? Is it to show that rehabilitation does not work. Surely not because Robert Thompson is “now hailed as rehabilitation success story”.

Venables served seven years of a life sentence for the murder of James Bulger. In 2001, aged 18, he was set free, albeit under license, able to be recalled for any misdemeanour. He got a new name, a job that enforced unsociable hours on just above minimum wage and a place to live. The press were forbidden by law from revealing any details on Venables’ new identity. But we only knew their real names because the judge told us the killers’ names in an adult court, moving on from ‘Child A’ and “Child B’. Was that right? Venables was ordered never to reveal his original identity to anyone. He must live a lie. Was that freedom?

Then, aged 27, Venables was back in prison, serving a two-year sentence for downloading and distributing indecent images of children. Now he’s back inside again. And the media continues to stoke the fires. Denise Fergus, James Bulger’s mother, is back on our screens, her pain clear to all. Her lot is to be a media celebrity dished up for us to gawp at. On Sky News, once more she is encouraged to revisit the horror. Our utmost sympathy must be with her and Ralph Bulger, James Bulger’s father. They have no need to forgive.

But why are we invited to stare? Why are we being invited to be entertained by their suffering?

It was ever so. The rare murder of a child by children might have been sui generis had the Labour spokesman on home affairs not milked the story. Tony Blair, for it was he, seized the moment to amplify the murder into a national crisis. Thompson and Venables’ crimes were “hammer blows struck against the sleeping conscience of the country, urging us to wake up and look unflinchingly at what we see”. He told us: “A solution to this disintegration doesn’t simply lie in legislation. It must come from the rediscovery of a sense of direction as a country… We cannot exist in a moral vacuum. If we do not learn and then teach the value of what is right and what is wrong, then the result is simply moral chaos which engulfs us all.”

There are other murders. But this one served a purpose. Blair tapped into the trial judge’s comments on it being a crime of  “unparalleled evil and barbarity”. If that was evil the likes of which had never been seen before manifest in our midst, then Tony Blair was the force for good.  And so it was that the murder of James Bulger became a totem for the nation to rally around. James Bulger, the innocent child, became a New Labour symbol and a political football. The crime was submerged in the age’s reaction to it. And there was the video and the pictures to promote the message on rolling news. They’re still being used in a crime packaged for our age.


Posted: 23rd, November 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comments (2)

James Bulger: John Venables is free again

jon venables free

HE’S coming out. One of James Bulger’s killers, Jon Venables, will be freed from prison. The parole board said the man who killed two-year-old James Bulger when he was 10 will be released from prison – he was put away for accessing child pornography on his computer. It also emerged that he had been arrested for drugs offences, had sex with a woman on a “parent” team looking after him and broke the teems of his parole by visting Merseyside.

James’s mother Denise Fergus tweeted:

“Venables is getting released. Just don’t believe what I’ve got to go through again.”

The Ministry of Justice spokesman says Venables can “be safely managed in the community”.

 “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.”

A huge debate erupts.

Posted: 4th, July 2013 | In: Reviews | Comments (2)

Bulger Killer Jon Venables is back to put the Government on trial


JON Venables is back in the news. One of the two boys who murdered James Bulger, aged 2, is the subject of the Sun’s front-page story:

“Bulger killer’s secret release”

He’s out? The newspaper report begins:

“A feared plot to free James Bulger’s killer…”

So. Venables is not of prison. He’s inside. What’s the fear?

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Posted: 4th, July 2013 | In: Reviews | Comment

Jon Venables knew my mother: James Bulger’s killer unites country in hate

James Bulger - videograb

IS Venables “my dad?” So asks a “young mum” from the cover of the Daily Mirror. The answer should come in two words: Jeremy Kyle. This televised patenity test would pack them in.

The story is, however, thinner than the aforesaid Kyle’s prayer book:

A young mum fears James Bulger murderer Jon Venables could be the father of her son.

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Posted: 9th, March 2013 | In: Reviews | Comments (11)

James Bulger: What do you do with Thompson and Venables’ ‘unparalleled evil’?

JON Venables is front-page news. One of two-year-of James Bulger’s two ten-year-old killers is the subject of the Sun’s story:


Groomed? Like paedos groom? Grooming is the word the UK authorities use to describe a paedophile’s online communication with a child they plan to meet and abuse.

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Posted: 3rd, March 2013 | In: Key Posts, Reviews | Comments (4)

Jon Venables: those who tweeted his photo are charged with contempt of court

THIS was predictable. Anyone who tweeted photos allegedly of James Bulger’s killer Jon Venables are being charged with contempt of court. Bulger was two when 10-year-olds Venables and Robert Thompson killed him

Anyone who knows the case and who cares about justice should not have broadcast the pictures.

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Posted: 26th, February 2013 | In: Reviews | Comment (1)

Pssst! Want to see what Jon Venables looks like now?

WHAT utter fool published a photo of one of James Bulger’s killers, Jon Venables, online?

There is a worldwide ban on publishing anything revealing Venables’ current identity.

Of course, the powers that be can’t say for certain that it is Venables. But the photo is of somebody. If it’s not him, that who would want to be that person? And if it isn’t him, Venables will need yet another new identity and possibly a new face should he ever be released from prison. That will cost.

A selection of reactions on Twitter:


Zac ‏@Zaka_No_7 – Hope this picture of Jon Venables is real & he gets done in. Deserves a slow & painful death. Not £100,000 a year of tax to keep him alive!

Ronnie ‏@RonnieLeiigh I hope somebody leaves Jon Venables on a train track, alive, with paint in his eyes and having been beat across the head with an iron bar.
James Moorhouse ‏@FromBellToBell – What’s sickening is the person who posted that pic of JonVenables will go to prison while that murderer walks free
James Bulger was two when he was murdered on 12 February 1993. Thompson and Venables were 10.
Laurence Lee represented Jon Venables. He recalls:

“The vast majority of Liverpool children probably had a worse upbringing than Venables. Thompson was the Pied Piper. Venables was transfixed by him. On the day they took James, Venables had been planning to go into school and pick up the class gerbils to look after during half-term. Thompson told him ‘Sod the gerbils, let’s go robbing’.

“They committed the most evil of acts but I said to Venables ‘If you were born in Las Vegas you would probably have ended up in the film industry’. I think it depends on circumstances as well as make-up. It’s about nature and nurture. Venables was brought up well, but he must have had a mental quirk. And it must also have been about the chemistry of the two of them together.”

As for himself, Mr Lee says: “Twenty years on I find it more difficult to believe I could have taken on the case – now that I’ve got three children.

“Once the case was over I had nightmares that I was being run over by a train. No case could tempt me back into court – until the bank manager phoned up and said ‘You’d better do some work’.”

Posted: 14th, February 2013 | In: Reviews | Comments (4)

James Bulger: 20 years on Denis Fergus is still looking for ‘justice’

JAMES Bulger’s father has marked two decades since his young son was murdered by children with a book. In it he alludes to the remourse felt by John Venables. James Bulger’s mother, now remarried and called Denise Fergus, says she “wants justice”. As ever , what she says is broadcast in the mainstream media.

Venables and Robert Thompson, both aged 10, were convicted of killing two-year-old James in Bootle, Merseyside in 1993. They tortured him. Then they left him on a train track. The train hit him.

The tabloid angle has been clear from day one: Venables and Thompson are more guilty because they were children.

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Posted: 11th, February 2013 | In: Reviews | Comments (16)

Jon Venables: Ralph Bulger’s new book sheds light on James Bulger’s killer

THE murder of James Bulger is still news. Ralph Bulger, father of the two-year-old murdered by twn-year-olds Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, has written a book. My James by Ralph Bulger and Rosie Dunn centres on the events of February 12, 1993. The parts about he and wife Denise Ferguson’s unbearable pain are horrible, like being invited to look at survivors’ slides from a fatal car crash. The parts about the child’s body and wounds are grim. They offer nothing new. What is interesting is the story of the criminal case, particularly how Jon Venables comes across: 

‘Is that you on that video, son?’ Ann Thompson demanded. ‘Nah, it’s got nothing to do with me,’ he replied. As if to prove his point, Robert went to a makeshift memorial near the railway in Walton and later took some flowers. When he got home he said to his mother: ‘Why would I take flowers to the baby if I had killed him?’ At another home nearby, Jon Venables told his mother, Susan: ‘If I’d seen them kids hurting the baby, I’d have kicked their heads in.’

Jon’s father, meanwhile, asked his son about the blue paint that was splattered on his mustard-coloured coat. He said that his friend Robert Thompson had thrown it at him.
I later learned that on the Wednesday evening an anonymous woman went to Marsh Lane Police Station. She said she was a friend of the Venables family and knew that the son, a boy called Jon, had skipped school with a friend called Robert Thompson on the Friday that James went missing. He had returned home with blue paint on his jacket.

Jon was having lunch when his mother held her son in a tight embrace and said: ‘I love you, Jon. I want you to tell the truth, whatever it might be.’ He started to cry, and just blurted out: ‘I did kill him.’ The boy looked across the room at the detectives and said: ‘What about his mum? Will you tell her I’m sorry.’ Jon continued to blame everything on Robert. He said they found James outside the butcher’s shop. He said it was his idea to take him, but it was Robert’s idea to kill him. They took him to the canal, where Robert planned to throw him in. James would not kneel down to look at his reflection in the water as they wanted, so Robert picked him up and threw him on the ground. This was how James had first injured his head. He said that James kept crying: ‘I want my mummy.’

‘He wanted him dead, probably,’ he responded. ‘Robert was probably doing it for fun because he was laughing his head off.’ For his part, though, Robert refused to admit any involvement in the attack. ‘He never actually told me the truth in the end – far from it,’ said DS Roberts. ‘He lied from the minute we started to interview him.’ ‘When he was charged, he had no problem with it. I suppose he knew that if he was found guilty he would have a better life than he would outside. I thought to myself, “This boy has caused so much misery and evil.” I didn’t look for the three sixes on the back of his head, but at that moment I thought he was the devil.’

It may oversimplify the arguments, but that to my mind makes them evil beyond belief.

You never do hear much of Robert Thompson…

Posted: 3rd, February 2013 | In: Books, Reviews | Comments (21)

Man mistaken for James Bulger killer Robert Thompson kills himself

HAVE James Bulger’s killers Jon Venables and Robert Thompson claimed another life? Or should we blame someone else? The Lancashire Telegraph delivers the headline:

Ramsbottom dad took his own life over Bulger killer accusations

The story runs that Ramsbottom’s Scott Bradley, 36, “endured months of abuse after malicious gossips accused him of being murderer Robert Thompson.”

Who to blame for his suffering?

She [his mother Sue] has told how her son’s life became a ‘living hell’ after a hate mob in the seaside village of Garlieston, Wigtownshire, Scotland, turned on him over a play about the sickening killing.

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Posted: 9th, August 2012 | In: Reviews | Comments (3)

James Bulger: Robert Thompson gets compensation for News of The World hacking his phone

JAMES Bulger is back in the news. Denise Fergus, mother of the toddler murdered by Jon Venables an Robert Thomson in 1993, is upset that Thompson may be due a pay out for, reportedly, having his phone hacked by the News of The World.

Says Mrs Fergus, 44:

“It would be a terrible insult to James’ memory if the animal who murdered him was receive to a payment. He cannot be allowed to benefit from the wicked crime that he committed in robbing James of his life.”

So. What do to, then?

“If his phone was hacked that is wrong. But the only reason that they were interested in him was that fact that he murdered my son. If there is to be compensation paid then all the money should go to charity and if his lawyers had a shred of decency that’s what they would advise him to do. I’m challenging them now to say that any money involved in this will go to charity. Anything else would be outrageous.”

The only reason the hacks wer interested in John Prescott was because he was the deputy prime minister. Should he donate his pay out to the taxpayer?

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Posted: 19th, February 2012 | In: Reviews | Comments (60)

James Bulger lies, Denise Fergus and sense on child crime from the Centre for Social Justice

KNOW that between 2005 and 2010, 346 children aged 10 and 11 were found guilty of sex crimes. The Sun produces this news under photos of James Bulger and his two killers, Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, and the headline:

Children in rape Torture & Arson

You might have heard the news back in 2010, when the Daily Telegraph reported:

A total of 346 youngsters were either convicted in a court or handed a reprimand or formal warning, according to the Youth Justice Board.

Why has the Sun reproduced this news and passed it off as something new? The figures were produced by the Youth Justice Board in response to the arrests of two brothers in Edlington Yorkshire in April 2009. They were jailed for five years for subjecting their victims to torture and sexual humiliation.

So. Why is this news now? And why is it illustrated with pictures of Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, the boys who murdered two-year-old James Bulger? Well, the Sun’s editor Dominic Mohan told the Leveson Inquiry that the biggest story of 2011 was James Bulger. So. The murdered toddler is once more presented to satisfy the readers’ needs. And where James Bulger is mentioned, his mother Denise Fergus is sure to feature.

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Posted: 25th, January 2012 | In: Key Posts, Reviews | Comments (34)

Another crap story about Jon Venables

JAMES Bulger stories are popular with readers. Sun editor Dominic Mohan tells the Leveson Inquiry that the biggest-selling story of the past 18 months was about the killer of James Bulger – and by definition that of his two killer: Jon Venables and Robert Thompson.

Mindful of that, we turn to the Daily Star’s story:


Tom Savage is in the toilet cubicle:

FATTY Jon Venables scoffed so much festive grub he needed emergency treatment for constipation.

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Posted: 11th, January 2012 | In: Reviews | Comments (5)

James Bulger’s ‘Copycat’ Killers: Boys Try To ‘Kidnap’ Toddler From Liverpool Asda

THE SUN spots another James Bulger, the two-year-old child killed by ten-year-olds Jon Venables and Robert Thompson. Richrd Moriarty’s story begins:

Boys held for Bulger ‘copycat kidnap bid’

Thank goodess they were stopped.

Tragic James’ mum says: It’s chilling

Tragic James’s mum is Denise Fergus, the go-to source for emotionally led opinion.

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Posted: 17th, November 2011 | In: Reviews | Comments (6)

Jon Venables Will Be Released In June 2013: Then He’ll Disappear

JON Venabales, one of James Bulger’s killers, has lost his parole bid. He wanted to be released halfway through his two-year sentence for downloading child porn. Anorak now rounds up the media’s reactions to justice:

A Parole Board spokesman said:

“The Parole Board has now completed its review of the continued detention of Jon Venables in order to make recommendations to the Secretary of State as to his suitability for a move to open prison conditions or direct his release.

“A three-member panel of the board, chaired by a judge, held an oral hearing to review the case and come to a decision. That decision has been communicated to the two parties to the proceedings – the prisoner, the Secretary of State and also, via the Secretary of State, to the families of the victim in this case.”

He went on: “It is the policy of the board not to comment on or confirm its decisions or reasons in individual cases. Such information constitutes personal data within the definition of the Data Protection Act 1998 and its disclosure to unauthorised persons would contravene one or more of the data protection principles. It is the duty of the Secretary of State to notify appropriate authorities who may have a role in supervising an offender in the community of the outcome of the Parole Board hearing.”

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Posted: 27th, June 2011 | In: Reviews | Comments (5)

Ralph Bulger Makes Plea For Jon Venables Never To Be Released

JON Venables, one of James Bulger’s two killers, is back in the news. James Bulger’s father, Ralph Bulger, has made an victim impact statement to a parole board, who are considering the rehabilitation of Jon Venables. Mr Bulger says the murder of his son “transformed” him.

At Liverpool Crown Court, Mr Bulger’s solicitor, Robin Makin, says the move to release Venables was “crassly stupid”. He added:

“Ten years ago this month, in June 2001 a decision was made by the parole board to release Jon Venables. Trying to put somebody like Jon Venables back out into society in an area adjacent to Merseyside … was crassly stupid, it was never going to work.”

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Posted: 24th, June 2011 | In: Reviews | Comments (15)

James Bulger’s Killer Robert Thompson’s Lads’ Holiday: You Outraged Now?

JON Venables is in jail. So. It’s time to focus on Robert Thompson, the other of James Bulger’s killers. The Sun brings news of the child killer who killed as a child in its front-page headline:


Thompson’s trip overseas follows news that Jon Venables went on a holiday to Norway following his release.

The Sun tells us:

Thompson used his phoney new ID on his passport for a secret “lads’ trip” to Europe.

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Posted: 6th, April 2011 | In: Key Posts, Reviews | Comments (46)

Jon Venables ‘Reunites’ With Robert Thompson In Tabloid Fantasy

JON Venables: Anorak reader MB directs us to Jon Venables story we missed. The People’s Nick Dorman delivers the news that Jon Venables “wants to be reunited with killer pal Robert Thompson”.

Venables and Thompson lilled James Bulger when they were age ten and their victim was 2. As we are told:

Evil Jon Venables is desperate to be reunited with his child killer pal Robert Thompson when freed from prison.

Well, so a source says. But the punctuation is such that it’s hard to see where what Venables is alleged to have said ends and what Dorman says begins:

Venables moaned: Losing Thommo as my mate has been a massive punishment in itself.

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Posted: 1st, August 2010 | In: Reviews | Comment

Jon Venables ‘Strikes’ And What We Will Never Know

JON Venables: Anorak’s at-a-glance look at one of James Bulger’s killers in the news: Deborah Orr call for more information and understanding as media titillates its readers with horror…

The Weekly Vice website hears that Venables has been charged with possessing 57 pornographic images of children and yells:

Jon Venables Strikes Again…

Well, no. He has not murdered a child again. He is in the market for depravity, allegedly, but he has not struck again.

Venables is not accused of making the indecent images. We can argue if downloading – or looking, as it was once called in pre-computer times – is as bad as creating such images. Is the latter a thought crime? Venables must not explain why he had such heinous images, allegedly, just answer the charge that he had them.

This website then goes on to publish details of the crime in gruesome detail, inviting readers to download the sick story?

In the Guardian, Deborah Orr, writes:

Jon Venables: what we’ll never learn

This is a sickening allegation in any circumstances. In the context of the terrible and notorious crime that Venables committed during his childhood, it is almost indescribably alarming and disturbing.

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Posted: 24th, June 2010 | In: Reviews | Comments (5)

Jon Venables: Denise Fergus, Justice, A Monster And Child Porn

JON Venables: One of James Bulger’s killers has been charged with downloading 57 child porn pictures. James Bulger was murdered in 1993. He was two years old. Jon Venables is now aged 27. He was detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure, and released on licence under a new identity in 2001. In February Venables was recalled to jail. Reporting restrictions meant no-one could report on why Venables was back in prison. Now those restrictions have been lifted.

The story so far

The news round-up…

Jon Venable’s is the Star and Express’ front-page “monster”.

The Mail calls it a “victory for Press freedom”.

Denise Fergus is James Bulger’s mother. She responds.

I simply want to see justice done… My solicitor has also been in touch with the Ministry of Justice, to make representations on my behalf and to raise a number of concerns I have about the way the case is to be handled.

“We are still awaiting a reply to that formal approach. I don’t want to say anything that could affect the proceedings. I’m prepared to wait and see what happens.”

James Bulger’s father speaks:

Robin Makin, the solicitor for James Bulger’s father, Ralph, sharply criticised the ministry of justice for its handling of the case since Venables’s recall.

“We consider that the way this has been handled since news of Jon Venables being recalled to custody has been a disaster. The public authorities ought to behave quite differently and in due course further details are likely to emerge of the mistakes that were made. Ineptitude and incompetence spring to mind,” he said.

Venables will answer for his alleged crimes at the Old Bailey in July. The case against him goes, as told by Gavin Millar QC, prosecuting:

He was downloading images on to his own computer. That is the basis of the case relating to the 57 photos. The distribution relates to the downloading of photographs using software that might have made them available to others if they knew the correct search term and passwords for a finite period.”

The story so far


“There is no evidence to suggest that anyone did actually acquire the images through this route.”

The case goes on:

Posted: 22nd, June 2010 | In: Reviews | Comment

Jon Venables: It’s Worse Than That – He’s Fat

REMEMBER when Jon Venables was big news – you know, the child killer? It was the run up to the election (remember that?) and the Government wanted to look better than inept? A look around for news throw up little:

The Sun says Venables is getting fat.

CHUBBY Jon Venables has been put on a low-fat diet and exercise regime by jail chiefs. James Bulger’s murderer, 27, has gorged on treats and shunned exercise since being recalled to jail in March over child porn allegations.

Paedo? Okay. Child killer? Yes. But get fat and you will shunned by decent society.

Burton Mail: “We must stick to harsh punishments”

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Posted: 8th, June 2010 | In: Reviews | Comments (5)

Madeleine McCann: After Labour And The Tories, Esther Rantzen Patronises Our Maddie And James Bulger

MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCannHAVING buttonholed David Cameron’s Tories and Home Secretary Alan Johnson, the McCanns have overlooked the independent MPs. But help is here in the form of Esther Rantzen, wannabe MP for Luton South.

In today’s Mail, Esther Rantzen steps in to make herself part of the political drive to find Our Maddie. It’s an open letter to Kate McCann:

The headline trills:

Our hearts go out to you Kate, but the truth is it’s time to find some peace…

Madeleine McCann Is An Election Issue As The Home Office Wades In

Dear Kate,

Dear Mrs McCann.

Can it really be only three years since your little daughter Madeleine disappeared? It feels like a century ago when her three-year-old face first began to haunt us.

True enough.

Her angelic expression and solemn eyes engraved themselves on to our hearts; they reached out to us from posters that went up everywhere, from airports to village shops.

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Posted: 29th, April 2010 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (12)

James Bulger Killer Jon Venables On Tabloid Murder Watch

JON Venables news round-up time, readers. Matthew Acton tells NoTW readers, beneath the headline: “Bulger Killer Venables on death watch”:

Child killer Jon Venables has been given TWO burly prison bodyguards to keep him safe from murderous attacks by vengeful lags.

James Bulger Case in pictures

Hold on a mo’. Venables is under guard from 20 crack screws and in isolation. And the armed cops? In the super-max jail? Now, it’s just two. This sounds more akin to Murder Watch than suicide watch?

And at night a guard is assigned to watch him in his cell via CCTV – in cases he tries to kill himself.

This would be the guard that missed Venables secreting a load of tablets in his “den”?

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Posted: 26th, April 2010 | In: Reviews | Comments (6)

Jon Venables’ Co-codamol Suicide Plot

JAMES Bulger killer Jon Venables’ prison cell continues to occupy the tabloids as today we learn of “SUICIDE PILLS” in the “den”. Venabels had 20 “super-strong” co-codamol pills in his bed. These were given to him by prison medics. He had pretended to take them.

Is co-codamol deadly?

Doctors warn that taking too many in too short a time could be fatal.

Well, yes.

Go on, scream readers. Take ‘em. Politicians agree. This is the way out of the mess the Government fed with indecision and a fudge.

The Mirror online bills this as the “SUICIDE FEAR”.

You can feel the fear that Venables will take his own life as the Mirror screams:

“A luxury cell with huge TV, guitar, showers, hi-fi and Nintendo.”

And in case you aren’t sure what to make of it, the Mirror tells you:

“…a move that is bound to infuriate the family of James Bulger, the toddler he and Robert Thompson murdered in 1993 when they were 10.”

No word from them. Yet…

Posted: 19th, April 2010 | In: Reviews | Comments (34)