Understandably so. Upon seeing him, she was "paralysed with hatred", and was unable to confront him. He has never really been a truant. [115][116] The High Court also heard that Venables had been arrested on suspicion of affray in September 2008, following a drunken street fight with another man. document.write(new Date().getFullYear()) [128] On 7 February, Venables pleaded guilty to possession of indecent images of children for a second time. [127] On 5 January 2018, Venables was charged with unspecified offences relating to indecent images of children. At What Age Should A Child be Held Accountable? I feel so sorry for them. The image in question is the CCTV frame of Bulger being led away by Thompson and Venables. [120] A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice commented: "Such a change of identity is extremely rare, and granted only when the police assess that there is clear and credible evidence of a sustained threat to the offender's life on release into the community. In an exclusive interview with Metro.co.uk, the woman, who must remain anonymous to protect Venables' anonymity, revealed she was "seduced by the devil," and only recently found out that she'd actually dated him. A few days later, Venables and Thompson were arrested and charged - the youngest people to be accused of murder in the 20th Century. After a number of "young girlfriends", it was presumed that Venables was having a delayed adolescence. "[55] The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 clarified the rules on the availability of certain types of video material to children. Police had even trained him in counter-surveillance after he was told he would have to "live and hold a lie" for the rest of his life. . ", Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies. A Ministry of Justice spokesman declined to comment on the reports. Venables was held at the Red Bank secure unit in St. Helens, Merseyside, which was not revealed until after he had been released. [124][125] On 3 September 2013, it was reported that Venables had been released from prison. [71] Ralph also remarried, and has three daughters by his second wife. Both boys were said to have had difficult home lives and both had been playing truant from school on the day of the killing. He didn't want to hurt James. All rights reserved. He denied having had any films that were not mainstream, or that were pornographic, in the house. He is far from it. Few people would argue that point. [123] On 4 July 2013, it was reported that the Parole Board for England and Wales had approved the release of Venables. Jon Venables was just 10 years old when he and friend Robert Thompson murdered toddler James Bulger. Although they were separated from their parents, they were within touching distance when their families attended the trial. Some seven years later, the Court of Human Rights would rule that they should never have been tried in an adult court. [39] A child psychiatrist, Eileen Vizard, who interviewed Thompson before the trial, was asked in court whether he would know the difference between right and wrong, that it was wrong to take a young child away from his mother, and that it was wrong to cause injury to a child. [4][12] Thompson and Venables had approached James Bulger, took him by the hand, and led him out of the shopping centre. Paradoxically, this concern with her appearance later endeared her to reporters in court. ", James Bulger's killers are once again being branded monsters. [67] An injunction was imposed on the media after the trial, preventing the publication of details about Thompson and Venables. "[96] Venables began living independently in March 2002. James Patrick Bulger has a net worth of $5.00 million (Estimated) which he earned from his occupation as murder of James Bulger on 12 February 1993 in England. The court dismissed their claim that the trial was inhuman and degrading treatment but upheld their claim they were denied a fair trial by the nature of the court proceedings. The couple, who are living together again after a partial separation, said their feelings towards Jon had not changed despite the terrible crime. [14], Each boy sat in view of the court on raised chairs so they could see out of the dock designed for adults, and were accompanied by two social workers and guards. [83] In March 2012, a 26-year-old man from Chorley, Lancashire, was arrested after allegedly setting up a Facebook group with the title "What happened to Jamie Bulger was f**king hilarious." It was a place that left a moral vacuum for two children who would go on to kill and leave the unanswered question: why did they do it? "He tends to be a bit hyperactive so his concentration did go a bit, but apart from that he is quite bright, no worries.". . [6][7], Closed-circuit television (CCTV) at the New Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle on 12 February 1993 showed Thompson and Venables casually observing children, apparently selecting a target. When the officer arrived at his flat, Venables was attempting to remove or destroy the hard drive of his computer with a knife and a tin opener. April 13, 2023. [9] The railway embankment upon which his body had been discovered was soon adorned with hundreds of bunches of flowers. [130] He was scheduled for another parole hearing in October 2022 but it was postponed for at least three months. In December that year, the paper was fined 30,000 for contempt of court and ordered to pay costs of 120,000. He has been educated. Thompson was born on August 23, 1982 in England. The couple, who also have a 13- year-old son, who has learning difficulties, and a 9-year-old daughter, denied that Jon was bullied by his brother or that he watched violent horror films at home. He has had his holidays like everyone else. [70] Denise married Stuart Fergus, with whom she had two sons. Venables served seven years of a life sentence for the 1993 murder before he was freed in June 2001, aged 18. so they were put in a lower year. James Patrick Bulger (16 March 1990[2] 12 February 1993) was a two-year-old boy from Kirkby, Merseyside, England, who was abducted, tortured, and murdered by two 10-year-old boys, Robert Thompson (born 23 August 1982) and Jon Venables (born 13 August 1982), on 12 February 1993. Mrs Venables described how she searched for Jon. A term first coined in the 1980s when a swathe of violent horror films made their way into peoples homes via the exciting new medium of VHS, video nasties made for a convenient scapegoat. You know, we just try and help him as best we can to try to come to terms with things. The suspicion was that it must have been their lack of care, love, or firm parental control that led to James Bulger's torture and death on a railway line. [9] The increased minimum term was overturned in 1997 by the House of Lords that ruled it "unlawful" for the Home Secretary to decide on minimum sentences for young offenders. In October 2000, he recommended the tariff be reduced from ten to eight years,[9] adding that Her Majesty's Young Offender Institution was a "corrosive atmosphere" for the juveniles. Thompson and Venables had attempted to lead away another two-year-old boy, but had been prevented by the boy's mother. "My heart really goes out to them. Summing up, the judge, Mr Justice Morland, told them they had committed a crime of "unparalleled evil and barbarity". [4], In 1999, lawyers for Thompson and Venables appealed to the European Court of Human Rights that the boys' trial had not been impartial, since they were too young to follow proceedings and understand an adult court. A spokesman commented: "There are many different images circulating online claiming to be of Venables or Thompson; potentially innocent individuals may be wrongly identified as being one of the two men and placed in danger. The parents themselves are not murderers, but whatever blame attaches to them has been abundantly punished. Ann Thompson had been deserted by her husband five years before the killing of Jamie Bulger, and in the week after he left the family home burned down in an accidental fire. Born evil: What drove James Bulger's underage killers? In 2018, the tranquillity of the Isle of Bute was rocked by an extremely barbaric murder, the after-effects of which still reverberate today. Venables and Thompson were released from prison many years later and given new identities. Ann Thompson was portrayed as an incompetent alcoholic, while Susan Venables was painted as a loose woman whose neighbours "noted a procession of men friends for Mrs Venables". After the trial, Mr Justice Morland laid the moral responsibility squarely with the parents. [28], Police suspected that the boys had sexually assaulted Bulger, as his shoes, socks, trousers, and underpants had been removed. [146], In January 2019, the short film Detainment was nominated for Best Live Action Short Film at the 91st Academy Awards. [104] Venables's return to prison revived a false claim that a man from Fleetwood, Lancashire, was Venables. There are many families where the parents are struggling to cope, where the children have behavioural problems. The Venables and Thompson families were at very different places on the spectrum of "dysfunctional" families: if the chain of causality between parental failings and juvenile homicide were so straightforwardly simple how many families should be regarded as pathological - potential producers of more child childkillers? For domestic violence to be the only or prime driver would require a narrative whereby Thompson was the ringleader who commanded Venables to obey him. But now and again. He is one of those children that if you told him to put his hand in the fire, he would. And thats a theory that doesnt stand up to very much scrutiny at all. Recollections from key people involved in the Bulger trial, ten years on. But at the age of 27, Venables finds himself back in the headlines and back behind bars having been jailed for two years after pleading guilty to charges of downloading and distributing indecent images of children. Jon did take the separation poorly, though. "[35], The boys were each charged with the murder of James Bulger on 20 February 1993,[9] and appeared at South Sefton Youth Court on 22 February 1993, where they were remanded in custody to await trial. Is climate change killing Australian wine? v. Secretary of State for the Home Department, Ex parte V. and Reg. These are the ugly manifestations of a society that is becoming unworthy of that name. It is just heartbreaking.". Media descriptions of him as "quivering" and "vulnerable" compared with the "impassive" Thompson at Preston crown court in 1993 served to define him as the more impressionable of the two. Yet prior to the murder of the two-year-old, there were signs Venables, then 10, did not just follow. Sometimes, he led. [9] Throughout the day, Thompson and Venables were seen shoplifting various items, including sweets, batteries, a troll doll, and a can of blue Humbrol modelling paint. She said an educational psychologist had diagnosed hyperactivity in her son, who was bullied at his previous school. He has never really been what you would call a sagger off school (a truant). Could the pair of them have sought out a younger boy in order to gain dominion over him? He commented that the work "is emphatically not a comedy" but instead "intended as a serious moral examination of what contemporary society is doing to children". . Jon Venables was just 10 years old when he and friend Robert Thompson murdered toddler James Bulger. To find out what drove these two young children to such depravity, we must look, not only into the boys' backgrounds but also examine the wider issue of what motivates people in general - regardless of age - to carry out such abhorrent, deviant and wicked acts. Venables was formally warned by the Probation Service for breaking a "good behaviour" clause in his licence. The Venables were by no means wealthy, but they were more financially comfortable than the Thompsons. [94], Shortly before his 2001 release, when aged 17, Venables was alleged to have had sex with a woman who worked at the Red Bank secure unit where he was held. In court, Venables was the more emotional of the two defendants, crying openly and leaning against the shoulder of his social worker. ", Her husband, Neil, said: "If you had a league table of children, you would put him at the bottom of the list for anything like this.". The Venables household was also fraught but contrastingly so. [78][79], On 14 March 2008, an appeal to set up a Red Balloon Learner Centre in Merseyside in memory of James Bulger was launched by his mother and Esther Rantzen. Robert said 'If you tell anybody I'll get my big brother to batter you up'. His play, Monsters, opened to mixed reviews at the Arcola Theatre in London in May 2009. Had he gone on to lead such a life, that might have been the last the British public ever heard about Jon Venables. And when rumours spread that the boys had watched the slasher film Childs Play 3, the debate was reignited. The fifth of seven children, he proved as difficult to his mother as the rest of her progeny. "Just TV programmes and little things remind me of the good times we had together . Despite the passage of nearly three decades, the story of Robert Thompson and Jon Venables continues to stun. Then in 2007, he started drinking heavily and taking drugs, including cocaine and the recently-banned substance mephedrone. In November 2017, she had published an alleged photograph of Venables on Facebook, with the advice "share this as much as possible". It seems the natural assumption. Robert Maudlsey, the real-life Hannibal Lecter and the UK's most dangerous prisoner. calling for a public debate about "the home But he also laid blame with their parents, calling for a public debate about "the home background, upbringing, family circumstances, parental behaviour and relationships" of children who commit "grave crimes". Jon Venables in 1993. "He is easily led. The scene in the game involves a computer-generated detective pointing out the picture, which is meant to represent a fictional child abduction that the player is then asked to investigate. Some of the images involved children as young as two years old and some showed the rape of young girls. Left on her own, Thompson sought consolation in drink and was often to be found in the bar in Higson's Top House rather than looking after the children in her chaotic home. Ian, aged 15, subsequently asked to be taken into care and when he was returned home he tried to kill himself by overdosing on painkillers. "[36], In September 1999, Bulger's parents appealed to the European Court of Human Rights but failed to persuade the court that a victim of a crime has the right to be involved in determining the sentence of the perpetrator. Justice Secretary Jack Straw stated that Venables had been returned to prison because of "extremely serious allegations", and stated that he was "unable to give further details of the reasons for Jon Venables's return to custody, because it was not in the public interest to do so". [106] Chief Inspector Tracie O'Gara of Lancashire Constabulary stated: "An individual who was targeted four-and-a-half years ago was not Jon Venables, and now he has left the area. Mrs Venables said: 'I think it was because the class group was too big for them to go in . Jon Venables was just 10 years old when he and friend Robert Thompson murdered toddler James Bulger. The Venables were by no means wealthy, but they were Jon's parents said they talked to their son about James after he was arrested, but had to stop. Late that year, he was cautioned for possession of cocaine. That assessment concluded that Venables would face the highest possible risk of being attacked if his name was either published in the media or known elsewhere in society. They were found guilty on 24 November, making them the youngest convicted murderers in modern British history. The bullying and violence continued after his father left, with the brothers turning on themselves. Seating being erected on The Mall outside Buckingham Palace, central London, ahead of King Charles IIIs Coronation. "[45] Morland sentenced them to be detained at Her Majesty's pleasure, with a recommendation that they should be kept in custody for "very, very many years to come", recommending a minimum term of eight years. Neil Venables, 40, said he felt "just devastated, thinking of that little boy'. The pathologist spent 33 minutes outlining the injuries sustained by Bulger; many of those to his legs had been inflicted after he was stripped from the waist down. [149] Bulger's mother circulated a petition to have the film removed from the nominations. The play featured an 18-year-old character called Timmy, who was due to be released from a secure unit after luring a toddler away from his mother and beating him to death. The game's developer, Legacy Interactive, released a statement in which it apologised for the image's inclusion in the game; according to the statement, the image's use was "inadvertent", and took place "without any knowledge of the crime, which occurred in the UK, and was minimally publicised in the United States". Venables worked full-time in a job with anti-social hours, earning close to the minimum wage, the court heard. Alex Davies-Jones Family: Children, Parents, Siblings, Husband. Some of the images involved children as young as two years old and some showed the rape of young girls. It was also revealed that Cheshire police had produced a "threat assessment" to try to establish what could happen to Venables were his new identity revealed. While the claim was reported and dismissed in September 2005,[105] it reappeared in March 2010 when it was circulated widely via SMS messages and Facebook. Jon's parents, who sat in court for most of the trial, said they grieved for the Bulgers. . Does brain chemistry have a role to play, as well as contributions from various environmental factors? WebJames Patrick Bulger Net Worth. News stories reported the demeanour of the defendants. The author Blake Morrison obtained notes from an NSPCC case conference on the Thompson family. He and Robert Thompson were convicted of abducting and killing James Bulger in 1993. He and fellow schoolboy Jon Venables brutally murdered toddler James Bulger after abducting him from a Liverpool shopping centre in 1993. Despite this, Bulger's mother, Denise, told how in 2004 she received a tip-off from an anonymous source that helped her locate Thompson. Quite obviously, overseeing a home environment in which physical, emotional, verbal and sexual violence is rife is bad parenting. Venables suffered no violence at home, though. In 2005, when Venables was 23, his probation officer met another girlfriend of his, who was aged 17. We feel so sorry for him because he must be going through so much torment. The film is based on transcripts of the police interviews with Thompson and Venables after their arrests. [34] The attempted abduction charge related to an incident at the New Strand Shopping Centre earlier on 12 February 1993, the day of Bulger's death. During the trial, the full horror of James' death emerged. He has had security with loving parents and a loving brother and sister.". These locations were not publicly known until after the boys' release. What crime did they commit? Venables fell into drug addiction and alcohol abuse following his release from prison in 2001, James was killed a month before his third birthday, On board the worlds last surviving turntable ferry. The naive words of the paedo's parents have come to light once again as a new documentary is set to air on ITV 25 years after the horrific murder. Sorry, the video player failed to load. (Error Code: 100013) The chilling words of Jon Venables' parents have resurfaced 25 years after he killed Jamie Bulger . Jons parents were estranged, but there was never a hint of abuse within the family. Both had blood on their shoes; the blood on Thompson's shoe was matched to Bulger's through DNA tests. [103] A spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice stated that there was a worldwide injunction against publication of either killer's location or new identity. [CDATA[// >