UK & World News
James Bulger Killer Venables 'Still A Danger'
The mother of James Bulger has told Sky News she believes tougher sentences are needed to stop people who commit serious crimes from "getting away with it".
Speaking on the eve of the 20th anniversary of her son's murder, Denise Fergus said she feels she has still not achieved justice despite fighting for two decades.
James was just two years old when he was abducted from the Strand shopping centre in Bootle, Merseyside.
CCTV cameras captured 10-year-old schoolboys Jon Venables and Robert Thompson leading the toddler by the hand.
They took him to a railway embankment in Walton, Liverpool, where they tortured him, inflicting 42 injuries before leaving him dead on the tracks where a train severed his body.
Venables and Thompson were convicted of murder and given life sentences in November 1993. Less than eight years later, in June 2001, the pair were released and given new identities.
Mrs Fergus told Sky News she feels let down by the justice system and strongly believes a change in the law is needed so killers receive harsher punishments.
"They should make them realise what they've done is wrong. If they give them a hard enough time maybe they'll think again before they go on to commit another crime," she said.
"What I'm saying is stop giving them stupid sentences like five or 10 years or if they get a 10-year sentence stop dropping it to five years because of good behaviour.
"They've done bad in the first place to be there. Start giving them proper sentences, sentences that fit the crime and stop being so lenient on them."
Venables was jailed again in 2010 for downloading and distributing dozens of indecent images of children. He is now making a new bid for release.
Mrs Fergus is expected to deliver a victim statement in person for the first time to his parole board. She told Sky News she feels strongly he should remain behind bars.
She has been concerned that a possible sexual motive for her son's murder has never been properly investigated. She believes Venables still poses a risk to the public.
She said: "I just urge them not to release him because I still believe he is a danger. He's a ticking time bomb and he always has been.
"To get away with so much you know someone out there hasn't been doing their job.
"He was meant to have been monitored on his release. To build up all those images on his laptop is unbelievable and just proves that he hasn't been getting monitored at all."
"I'm not saying lock him up forever. Until he's got a stable mind then I think he should be locked up. But I don't know if he'll ever get that stable mind."
Mrs Fergus also believes Venables should not be given a second new identity.
"If he gets another ID then he's putting other people in danger because on his release people are going to be aware who moves into their area," she said.
"If someone new moves in on his release then everyone's going to be pointing fingers and it might not be him, it might be an innocent man."
Mrs Fergus, her husband Stuart and three sons will visit James's grave on the anniversary of his death. She said she will never stop fighting for justice.
"That's something I'll never give up. The day I give that up I'll be letting a lot of people down. All the support that I've had over the past 20 years would be undone," she said.
"I'd feel I was letting my family down, and I'd feel I'd be letting James down, I'd be letting myself down. You know if it takes another 20 years I'm going to keep on fighting."
what do you think?
The law in this country is too soft and favours the criminals. It is about time the victims got justice. An eye for an eye. We call ourselves civilised but we demonstrate that crime rules.
Jamie's killers shouldn't have been released in the first place.
I agree with her %100 , but are kids of ten years old truely aware of their actions.at what age does a child take respomcibilty for their own actions.in other words were venables and thompson totally aware of what they were doing.
Yes they were because its been proven that Venables is still not of sound mind now, having been discovered with child images and bragging of his identity. He is a truly evil person. What they did to that poor young boy can never be excused. The injuries they inflicted on him were not normal things that could be excused as children being naughty. They were disgusting, evil, twisted things. If you haven't read I suggest you do because it may even make you vomit and realise that these two individuals are truly evil and will never be 'normal' and certainly have several screws loose.
Shaun. I think you are right to question whether kids are truely aware of what they do at age 10 but I think subsequent events with Venables have shown he is still dangerous.
After what they did to that child no. I disagree. They weren't of sound mind then and certainly aren't now. No normal 10 year old thinks let alone does what those little degenerates did to that poor boy.
I really don't give a damn if they were of sound mind or not. They murdered a trusting little child in the most horrendous way and for that they should be locked away forever as punishment, as an example and for the protection of others.
I agree that Jon Venables appears to be flaunting his freedom and the chances he has had. Maybe he is beyond saving. Thompson seems to be behaving better i assume, as we never hear about him. I do believe that offenders have to be treated very differently when they are children. They may or not have been fully aware of their actions but they were small kids and we were correct in treating them as children, not adults.
Angharad, disgust and abhorance of what they did to a toddler is normal and i wouldn't argue about that, U have read the reports of JB's injuries and he was put through a terrible ordeal. No child should ever be tortured like that. It was very disturbing and it affected me profoundly. But his murderers were small children and whatever their crime, our responsibility as adults is to recognise their youth and the lack of adult guidance in their lives
If you knew the full extent of their crimes Shaun you wouldnt ask that question. They were perverted and evil and Vennables is still a danger to all
Louisa, sorry but our responsibility as adults is to the innocent. Dispensing justice can be hard, but that does not mean we should shy away from what needs to be done. Mrs. Fergus and her family have not been given justice on a level commensurate with their loss and their suffering. It is they who are the most important people in this matter, not the murderers, As it stands, little Jamie Bulger died a terrible death and he is all but forgotten in the saga of what to do with Thompson and Venables. Their welfare has twistedly become the main focus and I find that perverted and disgusting.
Sorry Louisa but with these two I can't have any sympathy. They led the boy away. They knew what they were doing. And it's clear Venables is still a very disturbed individual. I feel so much every time I see the little ones mother on tv. I feel she has very much been done over in this and those monsters have been given a freedom she will never have.
At that age they knew. They should have never seen the light of day ever again, should be the same for any murders. We are to mamby pamby in this country to bring back hanging
Im not disputing venables state of mind now.im asking if your ten year should get into any trouble with the law would he be the one responcible for his actions and should be punished by the law or do you just put it down to inexprience and and that he didnt know what he was doing and therefore not responcible.
Sorry Shaun but they knew. They knew they were leading that little boy to his death. It's just too upsetting to contemplate. As a mother I can only imagine a fraction of what that poor little boys mother feels every day. I think both the children were very damaged and Venables has shown that he has no intentions of changing. He should never be released. He is a real danger.
I agree that our responsibility is to protect the innocent, i remember at the time of this murder i was so shocked at the ny=umber of people who wanted two ten year old children executed. We have a responsibility as a society, not to be cruel and barbaric. I do agree that, on the face of it, perhaps Jon Venables needs to be imprisoned for life, as his actions and lifestyle appear to be problematic. I don't know anything at all about the other boy, who seems to have been assessed as being safe and has kept his head down.
Choldren who murder are certainly not "normal" by anyone's atandards and it is. thankfully, rare for children to murder other children. These lads were not born "evil" - something about their upbringing made them heartless and unfeeling. That is not "namby pamby" just common sense. I ask you all, shoose your method of execution, put a small crying ten year old child in front of you. Could you really kill theem? If not, don't expect anyone else to do it for you. If the answer is "yes" then take a good look at yourself, because you are just as brutal and dangerous as they were.
I support Demise 100%. He's had chance after chance. Pandering to his every whim!. While the victim becomes second fiddle! I do wish the authorities would listen to Denise.
Jasmin. I with you kid. There is far too much emphasis on "helping" the criminal.Venables has had chance after chance. New identity, a new life, etc etc. Why? He is a murderer and should be left to deal with the consequences of his crime without the state hiding him.
Hello Dave, the majority of people know he poses a threat to society. that has been proved! We don't want another family to suffer such a horrendous crime like this do we?
We need proper prisons and proper prison sentences.. Murder victims can't get out of the grave.. So murderers shouldn't get out of prison!!!!
Kids or not death penalty all the way i dont care how old they are they KNEW exactly what they was doing
I tend to agree with you Rob though others would not. These two boys did not deserve to walk free ever. They knew what they were do.
Totally agree evil is ro nice a word
Would you br prepared to kill two crying ten year olds Rob. I couldn't, no matter how much their crime disgusted and unsettled me.
I hear what you are saying Louisa. I personally do feel that these two perverted little horrors should have been put away for ever. I really do believe that they knew the perverted and cruel crimes that they inflicted on this poor wee soul and YES, I could have sentenced them to death for their crimes without a heart beat.
Still stomach wrenching after all these years to read about what happened to this little boy. Denise - my heart goes out to you, I can only imagine what you feel each day. Even the un-trained amongs us can apply Bob Hares 'Psychopath Test' and know that the perpetrators of this hideous crime should never, ever be released. This is one (among many) example of how reform, treatment and re-integration doesn't work for sociopaths.
Perhaps they were sociopaths, but what led to that? They were not born sociopaths.
I support Mrs fergus and family, they and families like them continue to suffer, due to the evil murder of their beloved child, but the réal salt in the wound is the lack of JUSTICE and failure of the legal authorities to punish, life sentance should mean life , it sickens me that these evil spécimens get réductions in their already inadiquate sentances and when released given new identites, makes my blood boil. The only way to moniter mutderers is behind a perminent locked door . And help familes like Mrs fergus and myself and others with their pain, as we never get à reprieve
Cant beleive the thumbs dowm on my comment, have the bottle to atleast reply, all i will add is.... God forbid you ever have the life long pain of losing a child to a monster, Mrs fergus , myself and others have experienced first hand our lives have been tarnished forever
One 'thumbs down' on mine too Sharon. I haven't experienced the loss of a child so can only sympathise rather than empathise with you. We'll have to ignore whoever is anonymously disagreeing with our comments. I think we've got the moral high ground on this one.
Sharon. People have the right to disagree with you. Not supporting the view that two small boys were "evil" does not mean that people do not have the utmost sympathy for Mrs Fergus and all the other parents who have suffered in this way. I would never criticise a bereaved parent for their feelings as i do not have the right to deny what others feel. But there sre alternative opinions, however unpalatable you may find those opinions. If you have lost a child in this way yourself i am sincerely sorry and wish you peace.
LOUISA- Can you be clear about exactly which adjectives you would use to describe two boys who, having lured a child away from his mother, inflict 42 seperate torture injuries on a two year old, then deliberately position his body so that it's severed by a speeding train?? If you find 'evil' so disagreeable, how would you describe their behaviour??
Thanks jr totally agree
I am not defending their truly horrific actions. I am only saying that they were children and because of that i cannot see that they should have been treated as an adult murderer is treated. To hear people calling for two ten year olds to be tortred and hung is as repugnant as what they did. I am fully aware of the injuried inflicted on JB - it was terrible. But i cannot hate little children, regardless of the atrocities they might commit. I mean no disrespect to bereaved arents and once again stress tha i would never ever criticise them for feeling the way they do.
Louisa, yes i have lost and continue to loose until the day i leave this earth. Our angel was murdered , tortured mutilated and beaten to death. She had 190 separate injuries to her, She a petite child weighing 6 stone, just about to start senior school, She was murdered by a young neighbour, how would could anyone say this isnt an evil act by evil, age doesnt come into it. Yes people have différent opinions, but i have turned myself apart to try to understand WHY, MY soul searching concludes EVIL has no boundries
LOUISA - I think it very fortunate that you weren't part of the jury deliberating the actions of venables & Thompson. Mr justice Morland summed up popular opinion by highlighting the"unparalleled evil and barbarity" of their actions. No-one, not even their parents disagreed!! Popular opinion today doesn't seem to have changed much. I would also suggest you do a little research into Psychopathic behaviour before you naievely post comments like "they were'nt born that way".
Yes Louisa they or anyone else who murders and tortures, despite their âge should all be treated the same punishment. To mutilate is evil no matter of age. I shall never fotgive and i dont agree the death penalty as this serves no justice or bring me peace, as i value life. Something which differentiates between me and the evil monsters as they dont value life. All the death penalty serves public anger and authorities to be seen to be doing something, the death penalty would never justify or bring me peace, i have ti live my days with the pain til i die perhaps anorher 50 yrs, so should they but behind bars for life no repeive no goodies, no let off, because i dont
She is right. Sentences are not long enough,to give them a new identity is wrong. At that age children know right from wrong.
I HATE Venables and Thompson ... I wouldn't mind them being tortured! Infact I would stand and applaud the person or people choosing to do so. Those KILLERS new EXACTLY what they were doing. The dripple kittens trying to protect these murderers are such whimps! The World has become such a soft cotton wool place to those that are KILLERS. James Bulger my heart goes out to you every day and I will light a candle for you today in remembrance. Dance and play with the angels young man .... there you will be safe. xxx
Andrea how can you possibly say that it was wrong in one instance but right in another. If actions are vile and wong, then they are vile and wrong regardless of who is "tortured"
bit of a contradiction andrea.
This has been an emotive subject for 20 years. These two evil horros should have been locked up for ever..... They were given the best education and care and then new identities to go forth into the world and do whatever they wish...... May they never find peace and happiness. RIP James, you sweet boy.
Just seems so unfair doesn't it :(
Some poor girl might be in a relationship with one of these monsters and have no idea of who they really are. What if they have children of their own?
It was rumoured Venables was at one time with a woman who had a child. Scary thought.
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google dante wynham arthurs. interesting articles.
I looked a this site= what do we learn from it that we don't already know hamish?
Im not sire if a ten year old does properly know right from wrong or rather their unaware of the consequences of wrongs they might do.if your ten year old got into trouble today with the law you then wouldnt claim " he didnt know what he was doing.going by the thumbs down on my o last most of you think a child of ten would fully know what they are doing and what the consequences fully were.if a ten year old is playing with matches you think he fully understands he might have an accident and set light to the house and therefore be prosecuted for arson.
If my child tortured and that's what they did, if you haven't read it I insist you do, it's one of the most disgusting violent things I have ever read and I will never forget it, then I would severely questions my child's state of mind and I don't think even I could say oh he's only a child. My daughter is nearly 10. She is a very well balanced and responsible girl and she has very clear ideas of right and wrong. I assure you, she knows there is laws and what crime is. At 10 children are incredibly bright and aware of the world. More so than I think you are giving them credit for. They led away a little boy. They set about torturing him until he died and then left his body. And they didn't know any of that was wrong? Please.
So angharad you think a kid of ten should be treated as an adult and punished as an adult.
I couldnt see what you meant earlier, but taking the venables case he is clearly evil.but i got to say i dont think kids do k.ow the consequeses fully of their actions which only comes with experience i guess.my 9 year old through a bit of wood the other day and for some reason she didnt realise it was going to hit nextdoors greenhouse and smash a window.which caused the neighbour to shout and i got to say i did turn round and say to him hold it " shes only a kid"..
Shaun - I'm not sure you have the emotional intelligence or smpathy to comment on this and get many people to agree with your point. Psychologists and other professionals involved in child development decided 10 is an appropriate age for criminal reponsibility. What Venables & Thompson did can't be compared as accidentally setting fire to something as their crime was pre-meditated and deliberately thought out. None of it 'just happened'.
t's not really about knowing wrong from right, rather about being numb and insensitive to the feeling of others. If children are not taught to be compassionate it does't just happen on it's own.
Dont courts have dangerous animals put down?
They were children=deprived and neglected children, not animals. That view does not mean that this crime did not horrify me just as much as it did you steve
this country is run by dogooders who think of the criminals before the victims..some of the people at the top of the tree,,,,, all our look after number 1 M.Ps..shouild have some vermin come along and tourture and murder there family see if they would be so keen to keep up this human rights cr*p,,first you have to be human to get these rights..and these animals are not
Exactly. I'm sure if a child of one of these soft judges was killed they would soon change their opinion
I do not think of criminals first and i certainly agree that, in many cases, the victims of crime could br given more help. What do you mean by "human rights"? If you mean that two ten year olds should never be given a chance at rehabilitation and reconciliation then i disagree with you, i'm afraid. They were young children when thry committed their terrible crime. I remember talking to a swedish woman who told me that attitudes to chld murderers are very different among the Swedish public. In her country she said that society ask themselves where these boys had been failed , rather than bay for the blood of children
Well said david. They should never have been let out. If they had murdered my little boy I would have happily beaten them to death. Still, their fate lay in the hands of the self righteous. One can only hope that the next inevitable victim comes from one of their families, then we will hear them sing a diffgerent tune.
they should of been euthanised years ago. very sad troubled lives that will never get better. that is what happens in welfare state when people breed for money basically.
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Show me a 10 year old who doesn't know that murdering people is bad and i'll show you to the nearest jail cell. Sometimes people are just born bad. Accept that, stop wondering why they are so 'misunderstood' and throw away the key.