Jon Venables, one of James Bulger’s killers, is trying to get himself released from prison again before a new law takes effect that could keep him locked up forever.
Now 40, the child killer has been granted a parole hearing, paving the way for him to be released from prison within weeks.
He is likely to appear before the heads of the Probation Board as early as next month, according to The Sun.
A source told the paper: ‘An oral hearing would mean Venables is one decision away from being released. James’ family is horrified at the prospect.
Attorney General Dominic Raab is said to be “looking very closely” at the case.
His Victims Bill would include a ‘two strikes and you’re in’ scheme, preventing dangerous repeat offenders from committing serious offenses while on probation.
Mr. Raab expects him to release Parliament by Easter.
Venables and Robert Thompson were 10 when they tortured and killed little James after kidnapping him from a shopping center in Bootle, Merseyside, in February 1993.
The duo – still the UK’s youngest convicted murderers in modern history – were sentenced to life in prison but released on leave under new identities in 2001.
Venables was sent back to prison in 2010 and 2017 for possessing indecent images of children.
He was denied parole in September 2020, but became eligible for further review in two years.
Prior to this earlier review, James’ mother Denise Fergus urged the Council to deny Venable’s early release and ‘finally admit that this man is a threat and a danger to society’.
She claimed he showed ‘no remorse or any sign of being rehabilitated’.
His father, Ralph Bulger, told The Mirror he could ‘be at peace’ after the decision, adding: ‘This is the first time the right decision has been made in relation to my son’s killers.
‘I’m so relieved because I was convinced he was leaving – just like he did before.’
Parole hearings – which decide whether criminals, including those serving life sentences and terrorists, should be released from prison or remain behind bars – have always been held in private prisons, with victims and other bystanders having limited access in rare cases. circumstances.
But under new rule changes that took effect last July, victims, the press and other interested parties can request that a case be reviewed in public in an attempt to remove the secrecy surrounding the process.
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