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Jamie Bulger killer denied parole over child porn conviction

Jon Venables still poses a risk, according to the parole board.

File photo of Jon Venables, pictured on his arrest at age 10 for the murder of Jamie Bulger.
File photo of Jon Venables, pictured on his arrest at age 10 for the murder of Jamie Bulger.
Image: PA Wire

ONE OF THE TWO boys convicted of murdering two-year-old Jamie Bulger has been refused parole after he was jailed last year over child pornography charges.

At his trial at the Old Bailey last summer, Jon Venables, 28, admitted downloading and distributing indecent images of children and was sentenced to two years in prison.

He and Robert Thompson were both 10 years old when they abducted and killed Bulger. After being released in 2001, they were given new identities. The media is prohibited from publishing details about their appearance now or where they live.

The pornographic images were discovered when Venables contacted police himself, fearing his real identity had become known. When an officer arrived at his home to help him move out, he discovered Venables attempting to delete files from his computer.

Application for release

The Telegraph reports that having applied for release halfway through his sentence, Venables’ request was turned down by a parole board. The board said it believes he still poses a risk to the public and would not release him.

Venables’ conviction for the child pornography charges means that he must serve out the remainder of the life sentence he received for Bulger’s death. He had served eight years of that sentence, at a secure children’s home, before his release on licence in 2001.

He is entitled to apply for parole every two years.

Bulger’s father has criticised the board for its lack of transparency and accountability, the BBC reports. Ralph Bulger said in a statement that he was relieved at the board’s decision, but said the reasons for its decisions and the evidence it considered should be made known.

The board said it acted according to the provisions laid down by parliament.

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