James Bulger’s murderer Jon Venables is insisting he is ‘completely rehabilitated’ in his last-ditch attempt for freedom.
Two-year-old James was tortured and killed by Venables and his accomplice Robert Thompson, both aged 10, after they snatched him from a shopping centre in Bootle, Merseyside in 1993.
Venables, now 41, was granted a private hearing after the Parole Board ruled that a public one would cause ‘disproportionate emotional stress’ to the killer, but he still didn’t show up.
But his parole bid was delayed last month and he was given ‘one last chance’ to make representations. The Parole Board has said a decision regarding his release is due to come ‘sometime during the week commencing the 11th December.’
The killer, who was twice jailed for possessing indecent images of children, has now claimed to be ‘reformed’ and ‘no danger’ to the public, The Sun reported.
However, a source has argued that ‘many’ people believe Venables is ‘not ready for the outside world’ – echoing pleas by the Bulger family to keep him locked up.
Jon Venables (pictured) will be told if he has won parole in the ‘week commencing the 11th December’. It is understood that he has insisted he is ‘reformed’ and ‘no danger’ to the public
Venables, and Robert Thompson, now 41, were both aged 10 when they kidnapped, tortured and killed two-year-old James Bulger (pictured) before leaving his mutilated body by a railway line in Liverpool 30 years ago
‘It is like he’s is being given more chances than he needs to show he’s ready to be released,’ the insider told the newspaper. ‘Many argued that failing to turn up for his own parole hearing showed that he was not ready for the outside world.’
The comment comes just days after news broke that James’ family had reportedly written to the parole board officers over Venables’ release.
A family source said last week: ‘The family has written to the decision makers, saying they believe Venables is a danger to the public and to children, and that he needs to be kept locked up.’
The insider went onto say that it should be ‘a cut and dry case’ and that were was no need for extra time to debate if ‘monster’ Venables should be released.
Venables’ parole bid has already sparked controversy after it emerged that he skipped giving evidence during the two-day hearing to prevent ‘disproportionate emotional stress.’
Venables and Thompson were both aged 10 when they kidnapped, tortured and killed James – before leaving his mutilated body by a railway line in Liverpool 30 years ago.
The child killers were convicted of murder in November 1993 and detained indefinitely.
The pair were released aged 18 in 2001 after just eight years and given new identities. Thompson has not reoffended.
Following his released in 2001, Venables was recalled to prison twice, in 2010 and 2017, having been found to be in possession of indecent images of children.
Venables was turned down for parole in 2020 after serving his minimum 40 months.
After his 2001 release he was given a new name – which may happen if he is freed again. Previous conditions placed on Venables included informing his parole officer if he ever got a job and getting their permission before leaving the UK.
He had to regularly see a forensic psychologist and was banned from contacting Robert Thompson or any member of James Bulger’s family.
Two-year-old James Bulger (pictured) was snatched from a shopping centre in Bootle, Merseyside, on February 12, 1993
The child killers were convicted of murder in November 1993 and detained indefinitely. The pair were released aged 18 in 2001 after just eight years, and were given new identities. Thompson (pictured) has not reoffended. But Venables was sent back to jail in 2010 and 2017 after being caught with child sex abuse images on his PC
He also had to ask his parole officer for permission to leave Merseyside, stay overnight in the same house as a child under 16 or spend time with anyone under 12.
An exclusive report from MailOnline earlier this month found that Venables is likely to be subject to the strictest ever release conditions if he wins parole, including lie detector tests and tight restrictions on his movements and use of the internet.
A criminal lawyer told MailOnline the conditions would include ‘very heavy monitoring and restriction to his movements’.
This could involve curfew times, restrictions on international travel and access to the internet and the requirement to live in a ‘pre-ordained place’.