James Bulger's killer Jon Venables will stay in prison as parole bid rejected

13 December 2023, 10:57 | Updated: 13 December 2023, 11:33

James Bulger's killer Jon Venables will stay in prison
James Bulger's killer Jon Venables will stay in prison. Picture: Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Jon Venables has had his bid for freedom rejected by a parole board, meaning the killer will not walk free.

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Jon Venables was ten years old when he killed James Bulger in 1993. He will spend at least another two years in prison.

The 41-year-old killer has returned to prison twice since being released for James' murder.

Kym Morris, a spokeswoman for James' mum Denise Fergus, exclusively told the Mirror: "This is the day Denise has waited for years. The prospect of him coming out was terrifying as we knew he'd harm again.

"This is a day we celebrate and we thank the parole board for making the correct decision."

There is a chance Venables could spend even longer in prison if new plans to keep reoffending criminals in jail for longer are passed.

James Bulger
James Bulger. Picture: PA

Justice secretary Alex Chalk and his predecessor Dominic Raab had argued that Venables was a danger to society and should not be released, but he was still granted a hearing.

Mr Chalk said: “James Bulger’s barbaric murder was a crime that shocked the nation and I welcome the Parole Board’s decision to keep his killer behind bars.

“Public protection is our number one priority which is why I opposed Jon Venables’ release and this Government is reforming the parole system to introduce a stronger ministerial check on the release of the most dangerous offenders.”

Read More: Jon Venables should not be released, writes Shelagh Fogarty

Read More: James Bulger's mother makes desperate plea as her son's killer Jon Venables makes bid for freedom

After two weeks, the parole board decided it was too much of a risk to release Venables as he still poses a threat in society.

He can reapply for parole again in two years.

Venables murdered James with Robert Thompson in Bootle, Merseyside, in 1993.

Both Venables and Thompson were released after spending less than eight years in a reoffenders unit.

The former has been recalled to prison twice for making sexual images of children.

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