Jon Venables is not dead: Officials quash rumours about James Bulger c…

Rumours that Jon Venables, one of two people jailed for murdering two-year-old James Bulger in 1993, has been killed in Wales have been vehemently denied.

It has been claimed on social media that Venables was the victim of a hammer attack after his identity had been presumably revealed.

Thousands of Twitter users speculated, alleging the media and the authorities were hiding the truth of his death.

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But a source described it as “utter nonsense” and it is understood that Venables is currently in prison after being jailed for downloading and distributing child sex images

Venables himself has begged not to be released as he fears he will re-offend, and the Parole Board has turned down appeals to release him.

A spokeswoman for a Welsh police force confirmed that officers were not investigating any suspicious deaths in the area.

Jon Venables was responsible for a sickening crime that horrified the nation. The killer was 10 years old when he and Robert Thompson murdered James Bulger.

James Bulger was murdered when he was just two years old

Venables and Thompson abducted James from a shopping centre in Bootle, Merseyside before brutally torturing and murdering the tot and leaving his body by a railway line.

Both were found guilty of the heinous crime, with the estimate at their trial in November, 1993, branding James’ murder an act of “unparalleled evil and barbarity.”

Venables and Thompson became the youngest convicted murderers in Britain for 250 years and it was recommended they keep locked up for eight years.

Both were released under strict conditions in 2001 and given new identities, but Venables kept falling foul of the law and was put behind bars once again for more horrific crimes.

Jon Venables (left) and Robert Thompson

He was held at the Red Bank obtain unit in St. Helens, Merseyside, which was not revealed until after he had been released.

While inside, Venables received education and rehabilitation while being taught how to conceal his real name and horrifying crime.

The killer walked free in June, 2001, with unheard of lifelong anonymity after a parole board ruled he was no longer a threat to public safety. Venables was given a new identity with a fabricated passport, qualification certificates and medical records.

James Bulger’s grieving father Ralph lost a High Court bid to have information about Venables made public. in March 2019.

Ralph and James’s uncle Jimmy had launched a bid to have Venables’ anonymity removed, arguing certain details about him were “shared knowledge” and easily easy to reach online.

The case was rejected by estimate Sir Andrew McFarlane, who argued the convict could be killed if his new identity was revealed.

Speaking at the time, he said: “(Venables) is ‘uniquely notorious’ and there is a strong possibility, if not a probability, that if his identity were known he would be pursued resulting in grave and possibly fatal consequences.

“This is, consequently, a wholly exceptional case and the evidence in 2019 is more than sufficient to sustain the conclusion that there continues to be a real risk of very substantial harm to (Venables).”

Outside court, solicitor advocate for the Bulgers, Robin Makin, said: “The authorities seem to be hell-bent on protecting JV in spite of of the risk to others and this has been a dominant driving force behind Ralph and Jimmy’s application.”

Official figures showed that Venables’ attempt to keep his identity secret cost taxpayers more than £65,000.

Lawyers working for him were paid £8,100 in legal aid, with government lawyers working on the case costing an additional £57,300.

He was not allowed to contact Thompson, who was also released at the same time with a new identity, or the Bulger family and he could not visit the Merseyside vicinity.

Explaining why a worldwide injuction preventing details about Venables and Thompson was imposed, then Home Secretary David Blunkett said: “The injunction was granted because there was a real and strong possibility that their lives would be at risk if their identities became known.”

Once free, Venables spent most of his leisure time playing video games. In September, 2008, he was arrested on suspicion of affray after a drunken brawl outside a nightclub and was given a formal warning by the Probation Service. Venables claimed he was acting in self-defence and the charges were dropped after he agreed to go on an alcohol-awareness course.

Three months later he was given a caution for possession of cocaine after he was found with a small amount of the class A drug.

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Venables was caged once again in 2010 after being found with a hoard of horrifying child abuse images on his laptop. When officers arrived at his flat, Venables was attempting to remove or destroy the hard excursion of his computer with a knife and tin opener. The computer was taken away and 57 indecent images of children over a 12-month period were found.

In July, 2010, Venables appeared at the Old Bailey via video link which was only visible to the estimate. He pleaded guilty to charges of downloading and distributing child sex images and was given a sentence of two years in prison.

Venables was given another new identity after a “serious security breach” which could not be reported for legal reasons.

In September, 2013, Venables was released from prison after a parole board approved the move two months before.

A surveillance camera shows the abduction of two-year-old James Bulger

However, Venables was recalled to prison in November, 2017, when he was caught with the sickening child abuse images once again. The images included category A photos, the most serious kind, and he also admitted having a “paedophile manual”.

During his hearing, the court heard that upon his arrest he told cops in the police car: “This is my own fault. I have let people down again. I have had urges, inquisitive. It won’t be a slap on the wrist for me.”

Venables, who once again appeared via a video link that only the estimate could see, pleaded guilty to possession of indecent images of children for a second time and was sentenced to three years and four months in prison.

Sentencing him to 40 months’ jail in 2018, Mr Justice Edis said: “The children presented were often very young and unprotected, there is discernible pain and distress suffered.”

In June, 2019, it was reported that Venables was being assessed for a long-lasting move to Canada.

It was suggested authorities believed paying for James Bulger’s killer to go to a country like Canada, Australia or New Zealand would be cheaper than funding more failed new starts in the UK.

A source said at the time: “He’s been relocated all over the country a large number of times costing a fortune. A move oversea would cost, of course, but the thinking is it would be cheaper in the long run.”

The UK’s Ministry of Justice repeatedly declined to comment on the claims.

However, New Zealand chief Minister Jacinda Ardern issued a short and sharp response to reports Venables could apply to move to the country.

“Don’t bother,” was Jacinda Ardern’s message to the child murderer when a local news conference touched on the reports British officials were looking to potentially move him to New Zealand. New Zealand’s immigration department had not received any applications from Venables, she told media.

“Of course, because of his existing convictions he would need an exemption… my advice would be ‘don’t bother applying’.”

In October last year, a parole report warned that Venables had an “allurement to sexual violence” and “thinks about sex a lot”.

An official Parole Board summary explained why Venables, who was said to use “sex and pornography as a method of coping”, was not deemed safe to be released from jail.

The report noted he had displayed “positive behaviour” since being locked up, but felt a “without of fulfilment in life” and had a “need for excitement”.

The report, which explained why he was denied parole, stated Venables had landed a job in jail while living a top secret life with a new identity among other cons.

A three-page document also noted Venables had not requested a release from prison or a move to an open jail. Despite “positive” behaviour and landing a job in jail, Parole officials ruled Venables was nevertheless not safe to be released.

Officials wrote: “The panel listed as risk factors those influences that made it more likely that Mr Venables would reoffend in the future. The risk factors identified at the time of his offending included his sexual interests and an allurement to sexual violence in addition as other issues considered applicable but amenable to change.

“Risk factors identified in later reviews include thinking about sex a lot, problems in maintaining relationships, concerns about self-awareness, and his ability to deal with stress.

“Mr Venables had also experienced difficulties relating to employment.

“Features leading up to his offending as an adult included a sense of dissatisfaction and without of fulfilment in life, a need for excitement, and a inclination to turn to sex or pornography as a method of coping.”

The report said Venables was “benefiting from current psychological work” in prison and had taken part in programmes to “address decision making, better ways of thinking and a propensity for sexual offending.”

It was also noted that Venables had not requested a release from prison or a move to an open jail.

Officials said: “Mr Venables indicated, by his legal representative, that he was benefiting from current psychological work and did not ask the panel to direct his release or recommend a move to open conditions at this stage.”

Addressing a possible future release, the report described how his chances of re-offending were he to be released from jail could be cut by certain “protective factors”.

These include his “level of intelligence, making constructive use of his time, a capacity and motivation for self-reflection, and a supportive social network in the community”.

The report stated: “Mr Venables was engaging positively in intensive interventions and these were likely to continue for several months, requiring a period of consolidation on completion.”

But the report made clear the parole board was “not satisfied” Venables was “appropriate” for release from prison.

The report concluded: “After considering the circumstances of his offending, the progress made whilst in custody and on licence, in addition as the other evidence presented in the dossier, the panel was not satisfied that Mr Venables was appropriate for re-release. Nor did the panel recommend to the Secretary of State that Mr Venables should be transferred to open prison.

“Given that meaningful areas of risk remained unprotected to continuing interventions, the panel considered that Mr Venables was appropriately located in custody where noticeable levels of risk could be addressed. As required by law, he will be eligible for another parole review in due course.”

The parole experts cited there would need to be several “very strict limitations” on Venables and his “contacts, movements and activities” would need to be limited.

Venables himself begged not to be released as he feared he would re-offend, a report in November last year stated.

The Parole Board refused to recommend Venables for release for at the minimum another two years, according to The Sun newspaper. A source told the paper that Venables told the panel and his probation officer he didn’t already want to be freed.

They additional: “Venables told the board he did not seek release because he’s worried that he’ll re-offend.

“On the outside, he finds it difficult to make friends or gain employment and he seeks out drink, sex and pornography as a way of adding excitement to his life and that’s a potent mix.”

Ralph Bulger

James Bulger’s father Ralph said before he could “rest easy” as one of his son’s killers was refused parole, but feared he would re-offend if he was ever released.

Mr Bulger said: “I’ve always believed Venables will kill another child again if he is allowed back into the community. Perhaps the parole board have finally seen by his lies and deceit. He is an arch manipulator and knows how to play the authorities. But he has duped them once too often and now they have ruled against him. It’s the only just decision.

“To let him out could be another death sentence for an innocent child like James.

“Ever since James was murdered so horrifically, the courts have bent over backwards to look after both Venables and Thompson.

“Now the tide has turned and finally he is facing real prison time where he should have been from the beginning.”

now and then rumours come up about the Bulger killers and last year a woman, from Ammanford, who posted a photo said to show Venables on Facebook, was spared jail.

Tina McGuire, 53, breached a worldwide ban on revealing Venables’ identity by posting the picture in addition as a name Venables was said to be using and the prison where he was allegedly being held.

The barrister additional that McGuire’s post, which was shared 627 times, was the second time she had attempted to post information purportedly about Venables.

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