James Bulger's mom says his killer Jon Venables may 'never be freed' if new two-strikes law takes effect
LONDON, ENGLAND: James Bulger's mother is convinced her son's killer Jon Venables may never be released from prison under a planned parole overhaul by Justice Secretary Dominic Raab. Venables has "no imminent" chance of release, she believes.
Denise Fergus claimed Raab promised her that his Reform Bill would keep Venables in jail. He added that her child's killer, now 40, would never be freed under his proposed new "two strikes and you stay in" policy. Venables and Robert Thompson were ten years old when they abducted, tortured, and murdered two-year-old James Bulger in Bootle in February 1993.
“What we have been promised has made the last 30 years of pushing for James worth it," Fergus told the Daily Mirror ahead of the release of her updated autobiography 'I Let Him Go'. “Mr Raab has told me straightforwardly that under his new legislation it would basically be a case of ‘two strikes and you stay in prison.' That would apply to the three most serious types of criminals –pedophiles, child killers and terrorists. There would not be endless chances at rehabilitating anyone who had committed this type of crime." She continued, “And that meant, under Raab’s planned new law, Venables would never see the light of day. I feel hopeful for the first time in 30 years that this could become law and we’d have justice for James and for future potential victims. It would be historic.”
Fergus, 54, recalled her meeting with Raab last summer in his office. "In that meeting I was hearing words I'd always wanted to hear," she said. "His lips were moving, but I couldn't hear it all because I never believed I would hear those words. The words that under his plans, Venables would never walk free again. I didn't think this day would ever come. I froze."
It's been nearly 30 years since Bulger was killed by Venables and Thompson after the duo kidnapped him from a shopping center in Bootle, Liverpool. The abduction was captured on CCTV, and both were convicted of murder in November 1993 and detained indefinitely. However, they were released in 2001 when they turned 18 and given new identities after spending just eight years in young offender institutions. While Thompson, now 39, has not reoffended, Venables was put behind bars again in 2010 and 2017 after being caught with a stash of child porn and child sex abuse material on his PC. The parole board turned him down in 2020 after serving his minimum 40 months' sentence, but he has reportedly made a new bid for freedom. Earlier this year, a Telegraph report suggested Venables could be up for parole as early as this month, but Denise’s parole sources have apparently shut down such claims.
Today marks 25 years since James Bulger was taken from Bootle Strand Shopping Centre and murdered by ten-year-olds, Jon Venables and Robert Thompson #CapitalReports #RIPJamesBulger pic.twitter.com/JpWKVd35TD— CapitalLivNews (@CapitalLivNews) February 12, 2018
Venables has "no imminent" chance of release, Denise believes. She is confident that he will remain in jail for the rest of his life if Raab's plans materialize. “It’s the first Christmas I’ve had when I haven’t had to worry about the new year coming in and news of Venables coming out and wandering round a free man," she told the Mirror, adding, "I feel that after a rollercoaster 30 years, this year could be our best yet thanks to promises we have been made.”