James Bulger's killer could be released 'within weeks', claims victim's father

Chris Parsons
News Editor
James Bulger (left) and one of his murderers Jon Venables. (PA)

One of James Bulger’s killers could be released from prison ‘within weeks’ under a new identity, the murdered child’s father has warned.

Ralph Bulger said the ‘predatory killer’ formerly known as Jon Venables will be eligible for parole ‘any time now’, having been jailed again after his initial release in 2001.

Venables and Robert Thompson, then aged 10, tortured and killed two-year-old James Bulger after snatching him from a Merseyside shopping centre in February 1993.

Mr Bulger told the Daily Mirror: “Venables is up for parole any time now, and if it is granted he will be released into the community under a fake name and secret new identity.

“He is a dangerous, predatory child abuser and killer, and I am terrified he will strike again and harm another child like my James.”

Ralph Bulger, the father of James Bulger (pictured in 2011), has warned that Venables could harm another child. (PA)
Chilling: A video still of missing boy James Bulger, aged 2 years old, being led away in the 'New Strand' shopping centre in the Bootle area of Liverpool, before he was tortured and killed. (PA)

Bulger’s mother, Denise Fergus, echoed concerns over the possible release of her son’s killer from prison.

She said in a statement: ‘We can only hope that the parole board will finally admit this man is a threat and danger to society. We feel early release should most definitely be denied.

If this is not the case then the handling of the parole hearing needs to be done in a manner where all past offences are taken into question, due to Venables showing no remorse or any signs of being rehabilitated.’

Denise Fergus, the mother of murdered toddler James Bulger, outside the Old Bailey in London, after Jon Venables was jailed for 40 months after he admitted having more than a thousand indecent images of children and a child abuse manual.

Venables and Thompson were jailed for life but released on licence with new identities in 2001.

Venables, 36, has been returned to prison in 2010 and 2017 for possessing indecent images of children.

He is currently serving a 40-month sentence.

Half his sentence will have been served in October, with the Daily Mirror reporting a parole hearing will follow at a date to be determined by the Ministry of Justice.

Mr Bulger said he had warned against Venables’ release in 2013 but the parole board were “hoodwinked” into thinking the killer was reformed.

“He wasn’t, and he went on to commit more crimes. He has proven he will never be rehabilitated and will always remain a danger to children,” he said.

“I don’t believe he will stop until he has killed again. The parole board have the power to prevent him having the chance to harm young children again.”

Earlier this year James’s mother said she was ‘disgusted’ that a film about her son’s killers had been nominated for an Oscar.

Detainment, made by Irish director Vincent Lambe, was nominated in the ‘best live action short’ category, but failed to win.

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