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Mother of James Bulger calls for Venables parole inquiry after reports he slept with carer

by Aaron Sharp. Published Sun 27 Mar 2011 11:15, last updated: 28/03/11

The mother of murdered toddler James Bulger is demanding an Department of Justice inquiry after it emerged that one of his killers had sex with a woman at secure unit months before he was released.

Jon Venables was aged 17 when he had the illegal affair with the woman who was responsible for his care at the Red Bank Community Home on Merseyside.

His relationship with the woman happened while he was living in detached house within the grounds of Red Bank, which is run by St Helens Council.

The house is a separate unit at the former borstal, and is designed to get inmates used to living a "normal life" prior to release.

At the time of their parole in 2001, Venables and the other killer, Robert Thompson, were almost 18 and the oldest inmates ever to have been held in secure children's homes in the UK.

When Lord Chief Justice Woolf made Venables and, the other Bulger killer Robert Thompson, eligible for parole in October 2000 he referred to reports that said they had made excellent progress while in secure units.

Now that it has emerged that Venables engaged in sex with a member of staff at Red Bank, Denise Fergus wants an inquiry to establish whether there was a covered-up to withold damning information from the judge.

Jon Venables, now aged 27, was recalled to prison under life licence last February and is serving two years after admitting paedophile pornography offences last July in a trial at the Old Bailey.

James' mother Denise has made a Victim Impact Statement to a parole board that is due to hear an application from Venables for early release as h comes up to having served a year of his new sentence.

Denise reacted with shock and anger to the latest disclosures.

Speaking at her home in Kirkby, Merseyside, Denise, 43, said: "This calls into question the original decision to parole Venables and Thompson.

"The Parole Board should go back to 2001 and review its decision on Venables since it was clearly based on lies and deceit.

"I sat in the court in October 2000 and heard Lord Woolf saying he had been handed glowing reports on them.

"The main the reason he gave for allowing them to be released early was their supposed good behaviour.

"He also said did not want them exposed them to the 'corrosive atmosphere' of Young Offenders Institutions and made it plain that he believed they were models of good behaviour.

"But now we know that was not the truth and it is clear that the reports sent to Lord Woolf were rubbish.

"Venables and Thompson were trained to lie while they were in those secure homes and they have kept on lying since they were released.

"But it is quite outrageous and that the officials lied to the Lord Chief Justice in 2000 and to Dame Justice Butler-Sloss in 2001 when she granted them anonymity.

"That is surely something that the Justice Department can't simply ignore because it makes a laughing-stock of the whole judiciary.

"I want a full inquiry to get to the truth about what went on while they were in those secure homes and how false reports were given to the judges.

"I was told at the time they were like holiday camps behind bars and that those evil pair had not been rehabilitated.

"Now we know that a woman who was supposed to be in charge of Venables had sex with him and was suspended and sacked.

"She should have been prosecuted for having sex while in a position of trust and if she wasn't, we ought to know why.

"I always said they were determined to release those two no matter what they did. Now that has been proved correct.

"There must be an investigation to find-out how far the official cover-up went. Was it at Redbank, or St Helens Council, or the Home Office itself?

"If they covered this up, who knows what else they have hushed-up along the way with both Venables and Thompson?

"It stinks and it's high time the secrecy was removed entirely from this case so we can know the real truth."

Venables lived under a new identity when he was released in 2001 after serving seven years and eight months of a life sentence for killing toddler James, two, in 1993, in Liverpool, with his accomplice Robert Thompson.

Venables was re-arrested in February last year after he called his parole officer warning that he had blown his secret identity while drunk.

The officer caught him trying to destroy his computer and police recovered warped child sex images from its hard drive.


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"they should increse hus senterce we all want 2 know what he looks like now plus that carer should go 2 jail 2." maria cowell, luton bedfordshire around 3 years, 1 month ago

" To take up 4 murderers like these 2 you must have the same kind of heart, this was a baby they butchered can u imagine his pain/fear." mechele, virginia around 3 years, 1 month ago

"@chris: Denise has a right to know exactly what went on while JV was in custody for the murder of HER SON. What else has been covered up?" Ali Lightfoot, Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada around 4 years ago

"i am tottally disgusted,the look and sound of that pathetic excuse 4 a human being makes me physically sick and my blood run cold every time" sandra, isle of man around 4 years ago

"Ali, what if that 'truth' involves a potential sex crime against Venables? Why should Denise know that?" Chris, North Wales around 4 years ago

"Chris Johnson is disingenuous. On ITN he talks of Venables being 'party to a crime'. Yes - against him this time." Katherine, Stockport around 4 years ago

"Can't believe the nasty comments I've read about Denise Fergus here & the sympathy for Venables. SHAME ON YOU! Denise deserves the truth!! " Ali Lightfoot, Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada around 4 years ago

"Denise may deserve only sympathy for her horrendous loss but some of her views do NOT engender much sympathy from me." Laura, London around 4 years ago

"Hard cases also make bad law. If this is true, Venables is NOT to blame on this one. Denise is wrong here. He IS the victim." Katherine, Stockport around 4 years ago

"Get off Denise's case. She deserves only sympathy at the murder of her beautiful son. Venables and Thompson were never properly punished." Tim Green, Warrington around 4 years ago

""Vulnerable teen" - come off it! He is clearly damaged goods but also a murderer, and a peadophile. Hard cases make bad excuses." Larry Harding, Wirral around 4 years ago

"Vulnerable teen gets exploited by a carer, yet because teen is Jon Venables, people blame him. There really are disordered people around." Stevo, Birkenhead around 4 years ago

"The fact that Venables isn't an innocent does not make him less of a victim in this case. People's hatred is clouding their judgement." Michelle, St Helens around 4 years ago

"Denise should speak out. Who else is better placed? It looks like it was covered-up in 2001 and that is WRONG. Venables is not an innocent." Larry Harding, Wirral around 4 years ago

"Enough! Mrs Fergus is sounding more deranged by the moment. In this case, a crime has been committed AGAINST Venables." Matthew, Lancs around 4 years ago

"The stance of Mercury Press is so warped that it can't even see when Venables is the victim of exploitation - which is the case here." Karen, Liverpool around 4 years ago

"Well said Denise. Hopefully the Government actually answer the points you've raised and stop treating you with contempt." Jade Webster, Derbyshire around 4 years, 1 month ago

"A woman bent my head trying to get me to show compassion for Jon Venables. And I'm all for helping damaged children. But this?" Jade Webster, Derbyshire around 4 years, 1 month ago

"they both should stay in prison 4 life i put my hands up 4 denise " maria cowell, luton bedfordshire around 4 years, 1 month ago

"The woman who was supposed to be helping rehabilitate him. I despair. " Jade Webster, Derbyshire around 4 years, 1 month ago

"sickening, i respect denise though but he should be loacked up for life sick man/boy" Jess, preston around 4 years, 1 month ago

"What else is the so-called \"Justice\" system covering up in this case? The public should stand behind Denise and demand the truth!!" Ali Lightfoot, Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada around 4 years, 1 month ago

"Predictable nonsense. If a crime was committed, it was the carer, not Venables in this case. Grow up." Katherine, Stockport around 4 years, 1 month ago

"This is just mind blowing, first 10 year old killers, then one of them back in jail, and now Venables's sexual reletionship with a worker. " Jacob, Canada around 4 years, 1 month ago

"The stories around this just get worse. Good on Denise for keeping the profile raised but nothing will change." Mo. Southport, Southport around 4 years, 1 month ago

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