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UPDATE: A spokesman for the British Government has now stated that child killer Jon Venables will not be sent to Canada. Previous reports from British Press stated Jon Venables, who killed a two-year old when he was only ten, would be sent to Canada under a new identity.
Earlier reports in the British Press had said Venables, who killed a two-year old when he was 10 years of age, would be given money and sent to Canada under a new identity to ‘protect him.’
The killer in question is Jon Venables, a criminal known for abducting and beating two-year-old James Bulger to death at the age of ten alongside Robert Thompson, before hiding the body of Bulger on nearby railway tracks.
Now, recent reports have come out revealing that due to the continued, costly criminal activity of Venables and concerns over his safety, the UK is planning to ship their problem criminal to another country and has their eyes set on Canada.
“As far as I’m concerned that day — 20 years ago — I stared evil in the face,” said Detective Phil Roberts in an interview, at the time part of Merseyside’s serious crime squad.
“I think Thompson was in charge, but they both attacked James. They were a match made in hell. A freak of nature. They went out that day to kill — I truly believe that. And if they hadn’t been caught I fear they would have struck again,” said Roberts.
“Pure evil, I will never change my mind about that.”
At the time of their arrest, Thompson was made out as the ringleader, with psychologists believing rehabilitation was impossible, while Venables was characterized as his follower, posing a “trivial” risk if released.
However, throughout their lives, the opposite has proven true.
As The Sun UK reports, “When Venables was recalled to jail in 2010, it emerged Thompson had done well at Barton Moss secure unit, in Eccles, Lancs, showing a growing interest and talent in art.
“He had passed five GCSEs, taken A-levels and enjoyed trips to the Lake District and even to the theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.”
Conversely, in 2018, Venables, 35 at the time, pleaded guilty to having 1,000 “indecent images of children” and was jailed for 40 months.
Venables’ history of abusing children, whether directly or indirectly, has remained consistent since the 1993 murder of James Bulger.
In 2010, only nine years after being freed, Venables was arrested and sentenced to two years for downloading and distributing indecent pictures of children.
He was released in 2013 due to recommendations from a Parole Board, only to be recalled to prison after being caught, yet again, in 2017 with indecent pictures of children. He was sentenced in 2018.
Additionally, it has been revealed that Venables admitted to “owning a sick paedophile manual which instructed him on “how to have sex with little girls at the Old Bailey,” reports The Sun UK.
“This is my own fault. I’ve let people down again,” Venables told the court. “I’ve had stupid urges, inquisitive. I’m not going to be seeing this (the outside world) for a lot of years. It won’t be a slap on the wrist for me.”
“Someone like Jon Venables, who is a prolific offender and has a terrible history, should be intrusively monitored and managed,” said Jim Gamble, former head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre.
As both Venables and Thompson were 10 years old at the time of their original crime, both were granted anonymity under UK law which seeks to protect the identity of child offenders who may have a greater likeliness of rehabilitation as they mature.
In special cases, upon reaching the age of adulthood, extended lifelong anonymity may be issued by the courts if the case in question was so infamous that lifelong persecution for their crimes can be expected. The case of two 10-year-old killers constituted such a case, and the pair were granted lifelong anonymity upon their release in 2001.
Bulger’s parents have routinely tried to get this lifelong anonymity lifted. Bulger’s father, Ralph, has said “he will spend his life trying to overturn the ruling that his son’s killers may remain anonymous to ‘protect the public’,” reports Daily Mail.
After Venables’ 2018 sentencing, Ralph Bulger fought hard to appeal the anonymity; however, his appeal was shut down in March, as it was revealed that a prisoner had learned of Venables’ identity and that Venables had been “attacked in prison with boiling water.” As such, the judge believes that if Venables’ new identity was lifted, he would likely be murdered in an act of vigilante justice.
“My decision is in no way a reflection on the applicants themselves, for whom there is a profoundest sympathy,” explains Sir Andrew McFarlane, U.K. President of the Family Division.
“The reality is that the case for varying the injunction has simply not been made.
“As Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss held, (Venables) is ‘uniquely notorious’ and there is a strong possibility, if not a probability, that if his identity were known he would be pursued resulting in grave and possibly fatal consequences,” McFarlane added.
“This is, therefore, a wholly exceptional case and the evidence in 2019 is more than sufficient to sustain the conclusion that there continues to be a real risk of very substantial harm to (Venables).”
The high-profile nature of Venables, his repeated offences, as well as the numerous court-issued precautions that needed to be put in place to protect the killer and alleged pedophile has reportedly cost the UK a fortune.
According to the Daily Mail, it was revealed that the 2018 legal battles of Venables identity cost UK taxpayers £65,000 ($104,528.45 CAD), while his lawyers “were paid £8,100 [$13,025.85 CAD] in legal aid while government lawyers were paid close to £57,300 [$92,145.85 CAD].”
This is just a fraction of the overall cost of Venables. An insider source told the Daily Star that Venables’ inability to stay out of trouble has cost the UK a “fortune.”
“Venables hasn’t been able to stay out of trouble,” the source begins.
“The huge amount it all costs, coupled with the public’s anger towards this man, means bosses are assessing him for a move abroad so the problem stops.
“It will cost, of course, but the thinking is that this will be cheaper in the long run.”
As such, the UK is looking to ship Venables off to a different country, with Canada being the most likely recipient. UK officials haven’t cited the financial costs of Venables nor the threat he poses, but have, instead, cited the risk to Venables given multiple online oustings, such as the publication of pictures of Venables as an adult.