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James Bulger killer Jon Venables denied parole

27 June 11 17:38
Police handout in 1993 of Jon Venables

Jon Venables, one of the killers of James Bulger, has been denied parole.

A three-member Parole Board chaired by a judge made the decision, which has been communicated to Venables and the family of the murdered toddler.

Venables was aged 10 when he and friend Robert Thompson abducted and murdered two-year-old James in Bootle, Merseyside, in 1993.

The toddler was beaten with bricks and iron bars and his body left on a railway line.

Venables was released on licence in 2001 after serving his sentence for killing James, but was jailed for two years in July 2010 after admitting downloading and distributing indecent images of children.

James's mother, Denise Fergus, wrote on Twitter: "good news all just heard venables is NOT getting released xxx".

A Parole Board spokesman said: "The Parole Board has now completed its review of the continued detention of Jon Venables in order to make recommendations to the secretary of state as to his suitability for a move to open prison conditions or direct his release.

"It is the policy of the board not to comment on or confirm its decisions or reasons in individual cases."

The Parole Board, which looked at Venables' offending history, had to decide whether he could be considered a risk to the public.

'Considerable anxiety'

The board will have considered any reports from psychologists and probation officers and will have looked at any statistical risk assessments that have been completed.

In a statement released through his solicitor, James' father Ralph Bulger said he was "relieved" by the board's decision.

His solicitor Robin Makin said: "Since March 2010, when it emerged that Jon Venables was again in custody, there has been considerable anxiety.

"For several months Ralph Bulger and his family were not advised that Jon Venables was being investigated for sexual offences involving children.

"Significant efforts had to be made to find out what was happening because of the reluctance of the authorities to advise them as could and should have been done."

Venables' case for parole will not be considered again for at least another year, but will be reviewed by July 2013 at the latest, the board said.

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