Toddler killer to remain in jail?

Nov. 8, 2011 at 3:54 PM
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LONDON, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- The man convicted at the age of 10 of killing a toddler may remain in an English prison indefinitely for his own safety, an official says.

A source told The Daily Telegraph that Jon Venables, 29, convicted last year of possession of child pornography, will not be released until he can be trusted to keep his new identity to himself. If and when he is freed, Venables will have to live under the name he was given when he was first released in 2001, the source said.

"There are certainly no plans to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds creating a second new identity just for him to self-disclose again," he said.

Venables and a friend, Robert Thompson, were convicted of abducting James Bulger, who would have turned 3 the next month, from a Liverpool-area shopping center and killing him. Venables and Thompson were 10 at the time of the crime in early 1993 and 11 when they were given life sentences later that year with an order to hold them at least until their 18th birthdays. They were paroled in 2001.

Venables, who allegedly became a methamphetamine addict after his release, called his probation officer and said a friend had learned his identity. While he was being moved, he tried to destroy his computer, leading to the discovery of pornographic images.

Denise Fergus, James Bulger's mother, said Venables has had "enough chances" to live outside prison.

"If he can't be trusted to keep his identity secret, then he can't be safe to be paroled," she said.

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