Killer of toddler Bulger released for second time in UK

2013-09-03 14:11

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London - One of the killers of James Bulger, the two-year-old boy whose torture and murder shocked Britain 20 years ago, has been released from prison for a second time, sources said on Tuesday.

Jon Venables, aged 31, was freed from prison after being locked up in 2010 for downloading images of child abuse.

Venables had previously served eight years for murdering two-year-old James in Liverpool, northwest England, in 1993.

Because of the sensitivity of the case, the killer has reportedly been given his fourth new identity at a reported cost of $390 000.

A friend of James's father said Ralph Bulger believes Venables will commit more crime now that he has been released.

"He hasn't put a time on it but he is convinced he will re-offend," said the friend, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The toddler's mother, Denise Fergus, told The Sun newspaper that Venables is "a danger to the public".

"He lies for his own sick ends," she said. "I have been told that the terms of his parole mean that he must not enter the county of Merseyside.

"But the Probation Service didn't monitor him properly last time so I have no faith in their ability to do that now.

"They should've kept him locked up for a long time."

Venables was just 10 years old when he and his friend, Robert Thompson, tortured and murdered James on a railway line after abducting him from a shopping centre.

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: "We do not comment on individual offenders.

"The re-release of life licensed offenders is directed by the independent Parole Board once they are satisfied they 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."

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