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Inside the remains of the former detention centre where child killer Jon Venables was housed 

Never before seen photos have documented the inside of the crumbling remains of the former detention centre which housed notorious child killers including Jon Venables and Mary Bell.  

The Red Bank Community Home in Warrington first opened in 1965 and new eerie photos give a sneak peak as to what life may have been like at the former children’s detention centre, which was home to some of the UK’s most dangerous child criminals before its closure in May 2015.

The unit, which accepted both male and female detainees was once home Jon Venables. Venables was sent to Red Bank after being found guilty of abducting, torturing and murdering three-year-old Merseyside youngster, James Bulger, on February 20 1993.

It has stood empty ever since its closure in 2015 and is usually patrolled by guards – but an urban explorer crept in to get photos of what it looks like now.

Snooker tables littered with chalk and empty containers were left abandoned inside the home and posters and pictures were still left on the walls 

The kitchen at the home

Jon Venables (left) was one of the notorious child killers to be housed a the home which has been left in a crumbling state, as rooms such as the kitchen (pictured above) continue to decay

A door with a stain on it at the home

Rubbish and litter left at the home

The home looked filthy and still houses rubbish (right) and stains across the walls and doors (pictured blue door on the left)

Creepy pictures show abandoned toys and games, skull-like faces painted on equipment, red-splattered walls and bare cell-like rooms.

There are still murals on the walls of the former secure unit, including one of an upset child with the words ‘all I wanted for my birthday was my dad back….I got a bike’.

There are still pool tables in the games room, and educational posters about the human body on the walls, as well as a filthy kitchen and what looks like a woodwork room. 

As well as housing Venables, the home also held Mary Bell who strangled two boys, aged three and four, when she was 10-years-old in 1968.

Wood work room at the home

Mural at the home

Pictures from the derelict home showed a wood work room (left) and a mural on the wall of a young boy (right)

Canvas pictures from inside the home

A green skull on a motorbike fuel tank left inside the home

Canvas pictures of various cities across the world were left on the walls (left) while a ghostly green skull had been painted on a motor bike fuel tank (right)

Shelving containing old tools at the home

Clutter and mess at the home

Shelving containing old tools still littered the home (left) while clutter and waste was also left in was stacked up (right)

Computer games such as Fifa and Assassin's Creed II had been left on a table at the home (pictured above)

Computer games such as Fifa and Assassin’s Creed II had been left on a table at the home (pictured above)

The photographer, who captured the images overnight in December, said: ‘It was really freaky to be there at night.

‘There was no electricity and it was pitch black. It is completely abandoned.

‘There is loads of stuff just left there. Old games and snooker tables and all sorts.

‘It’s strange. It’s as if people just got up and left one day.

‘To be honest I just wanted to get out because it was eerie in there with all of its history. It was completely creepy.

‘Because of its history and who had been detained there, it had a weird feeling about being there.

‘It was weird to see everything just left there.’

A motorbike helmet at the home

A piece of machinery at the home

A motorbike helmet was left on the floor outside (left) while an old piece of machinery has also been left (right) with a block of wood on the top of it 

woodwork table at the home

marijuana poster at the home

Photos were left scattered across a woodwork table (left) while one of the posters at the home detailed the hazards of marijuana

A mural on the wall inside the home which shows a picture of a small boy with the words 'All I wanted for my birthday was my dad back...I got a bike' next to it

A mural on the wall inside the home which shows a picture of a small boy with the words ‘All I wanted for my birthday was my dad back…I got a bike’ next to it

A wooden box at the home

A kitchen sink at the home

A wooden box with the name ‘Jordane’ on it was left on top of a table covered in paint (left) while kitchen items such as the sink were in the middle of the room (right)

The centre opened in 1965 and was one of several juvenile detention facilities in England. It’s still owned by the local authority, but nobody has cleared up after the doors were officially shut, leaving bikes, photos and kids’ personal belongings behind.

A poster explaining the dangers of drugs was also photographed, along with artwork on the wall which says ‘guns don’t kill people, they kill families’.

The home was also where Venables had sex with a female staff member who had been working at the centre. Venables had a tryst with the woman in an empty building at his secure children’s home in 2000 – shortly before he was granted parole.

The woman was not prosecuted over the sordid episode, which took place when the killer was 17. 

Woodwork room at the home

Sign on the store room

The woodwork room had been abandoned (left) and a ‘keep out’ sign had been painted on the door of the store room 

Motor fuel canister with skull on

empty room at the home

The floors inside the home were filthy and the walls seemed to be crumbling (right). Objects that had been painted on had also been left around the home 

In 2011 it was reported that five independent sources were aware of an incident of sexual misconduct – and Red Bank’s attempts to cover it up. 

The incident happened when Red Bank was in chaos after management upheavals and facing the threat of closure.

It ignored all protocols for dealing with serious incidents, such as immediately alerting the prison service and local social services.

Sources say the female staff member was accused of sexual misconduct, suspended and did not return to Red Bank. 


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