James Bulger murderer imprisoned again over abuse images

Jon Venables

One of the boys convicted of the murder of toddler James Bulger has been imprisoned again after being found with child abuse images for a second time.

Jon Venables was jailed in 1993 at the age of 10 after he and his friend Robert Thompson abducted two-year-old James from his mother at a shopping centre in Bootle, Merseyside before taking him more than a mile away to a railway line where they severely assaulted and tortured him, including sexually. After beating and stomping on him, causing various injuries, they dropped a 10kg iron bar on the toddler and left him on the railway tracks, weighed down by rubble, where his body was cut in half by a train.

In 1999, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the pair did not receive a fair trial at Preston Crown Court, where the judge said the two were guilty of an act of “unparalleled evil and barbarity”,  because it was held in public and subject to intense press coverage. European judges also criticised the “formality and ritual of the Crown Court” which they said would have been “incomprehensible and intimidating” for the 11-year-old boys.

They were released after each serving eight years in secure local authority accommodation and given new identities in 2001, with both being granted life-long anonymity after James’ father promised to “hunt them down”.

The Sun reports that Mr Venables, 35, was again arrested last week after officials found indecent images on his computer during the routine check he is subject to for the rest of his life.

A source told The Sun: “It’s all about protecting the public.

“We have these systems so those who could be a risk to the public are picked up. That’s what happened here.”

Mr Venables was jailed in 2010 after pleading guilty to downloading child abuse images. He was given a second new identity after his first was revealed and was granted parole in 2013.

A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said: “We do not comment on individuals.”

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