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Cover-up denial in case of Bulger killer's sex romps

by Tony McConville. Published Mon 28 Mar 2011 14:35

Officials who run the children's home that held one of James Bulger's killers have denied that there was a cover-up over a sexual relationship he had with a care worker.

James's Bulger mother Denise Fergus is demanding a Department of Justice inquiry into the scandal after it emerged that Jon Venables had sex with a woman at Red Bank secure unit.

Mrs Fergus is demanding an investigation into the scandal to establish whether details were given to the judge and the parole board who sanctioned Venables' release in 2001.

Her call came after it emerged that Venables, then aged 17, had the relationship with the woman while he was living in detached house in the grounds at Red Bank, which is run by St Helens Council.

The woman is said to have been suspended and never returned to work, but there is no record of her ever being prosecuted for having sex with a person under the age of 18 while in a position of trust.

Jon Venables, now 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.

Denise Fergus has asked her solicitor to make a formal request to the Home Office to publically state whether details of Venables affair were known to the Lord Chief Justice Lord Woolf when he made Venables eligible for parole.

But today (Monday) it emerged that the Home Office had ordered an investigation into the allegations at the time by retired prison governor Mr Arthur de Frischling.

A spokesman for St Helens Borough Council said: "St Helens Council totally denies any cover up. All allegations were thoroughly investigated by an independent team on the orders of the Home Office and chaired by Arthur de Frischling, a retired prison governor."

Denise Fergus called for the results of the de Frischling report to be made public.

Mrs Fergus said: "There is a fundamental matter of public concern about the way these secure units are run and in particular the reports that were written on Jon Venables before his parole.

"St Helens Council say there was no cover-up and that it was investigated. But so far as I know the findings of the inquiry carried-out by Mr de Frischling were never made public and if that is the case, they ought to be made public now.

"There is no smoke without fire in cases like this. I feel sure the Home Office would not have ordered an investigation if there was not something serious to examine.

"Carrying-out a secret investigation is the definition of a cover-up and I think the public have a right to know what the investigation was about, what it found and what actions were taken.

"There is still the question of whether this person was not prosecuted for having sex while in a position of trust. If she was not prosecuted we should be told why not. It is time for some real openess about the way this whole case has been handled.

"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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"venables is no victim...he probably manipulated the woman into having sex with him...who in there rite mind wud defend him!" louise, stoke on trent around 2 years, 10 months ago

"Terry - seriously learn how to spell 'Wallasey'. To a lout like Venables, Red Bank was clearly more of a hareem than a spa. Shameful!" Larry Harding, Wirral around 4 years, 3 months ago

"So according to Sunday Times, Red Bank was a hive of abuse, neglect and chaos during Venables' time. Not the spa resort, Mrs Fergus claims." Terry, Wallesey around 4 years, 3 months ago

"It stinks. Venables Red Bank, St Helens, Parole Board, Judges,Sir David Omand - all in a "blind conspiracy" that concealed the truth." Larry Harding, Wirral around 4 years, 4 months ago

"Venables would be "hostile witness" back then. Would have refused statement since he would not have got parole.Denise right in her call." Larry Harding, Wirral around 4 years, 4 months ago

"Why does she want an investigation? If there has been a crime, it was NOT committed by Venables. Besides, there already was one at the time" Sheila, Cumbria around 4 years, 4 months ago

"Shiela:Denise has to justify nothing, she is merely asking for an investigation. Rachel: The 2000 Act applies so there is a case to answer." Larry Harding, Wirral around 4 years, 4 months ago

"Denise is the one who makes her views public. She should expect to have them challenged if they are wrong - which is the case here." Sheila, Cumbria around 4 years, 4 months ago

"Unsurprised. Wasn't Red Bank the place where there was an enquiry into sexual abuse going back years?" Karen, Lancs around 4 years, 4 months ago

"It only became a crime to have sex with someone under 18 if you are in a position of trust in 2003. No crime here - this happened in 2000." Rachel, Warwickshire around 4 years, 4 months ago

"It's amazing how many idiots are attacking Denise. What if Venables had murdered their loved one? The cover up must end right now!" Jane, London around 4 years, 4 months ago

"Mary, you are right. She should have been prosecuted for such a gross abuse of trust with an inmate she was supposed to be caring for. " Maria, Yorkshire around 4 years, 4 months ago

"Venables is not a 'victim'. He was calculating and evil at 10, no doubt more cunning by the age of 17, and now a paedophile. No excuses!" Joe Williams, Bootle around 4 years, 4 months ago

"The point is that she was not 'sacked' but 'allowed to resign'. Classic cover-up technique of failed institution. Re-open the case now." Mary Hudson, Liverpool around 4 years, 4 months ago

"Yes, I'm not sure what Denise's point is here. The wrong was committed by a staff member, not Venables. It appears she was (rightly) sacked" Rory, Leeds around 4 years, 4 months ago

"So Venables may have been sexually exploited by an adult carer and you call this 'sex romps'? What moral hypocrisy you exhibit." Sheila, Cumbria around 4 years, 4 months ago

"And I believe these last two postings were made by the same person, probably someone who knows him! Shameful, what if it were your child?" Gwen, Delaware around 4 years, 4 months ago

"Those attacking Denise Fergus are truly missing the point. Too many cover-ups in this case & it's time for the TRUTH! I'm with Denise 100%!" Ali Lightfoot, Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada around 4 years, 4 months ago

"It's lack of openness again. I think Denise has a right to know the truth because James was her child, not ours. Her life was changed." Jade Webster, Derbyshire around 4 years, 4 months ago

"Agree. It may be that Venables was taken advantage of-perhaps even abused. DF seems to think he is to blame for the actions of someone else." Mel, Chester around 4 years, 4 months ago

"Denise Fergus appears to be unaware that if a crime has been committed, Venables is the VICTIM, not the OFFENDER here." Steph, York around 4 years, 4 months ago

"I think if Venables was stabbed and raped, Mrs Fergus would want him prosecuted for making someone else commit a crime." Terry, Wallesey around 4 years, 4 months ago

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