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Killer Venables Could Get £250K New Identity

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James Bulger's killer Jon Venables will be given another new identity at a cost of £250,000 to the taxpayer, according to reports.

Very few people know what Jon Venables looks like these days. Venables was jailed for two years on Friday after pleading guilty at the Old Bailey to downloading pornographic images of young children.

He and Robert Thompson were released on licence in 2001 after being given life sentences in 1993 for the murder of toddler James Bulger in Merseyside when they were just 10. The pair had been given new identities and extensive measures were taken to make sure they were protected from vigilantes as they became national hate figures.

The Daily Telegraph has now reported Venables, 27, will once again be issued with a new birth certificate, national insurance number and other documents when he is released. The newspaper estimated the cost of creating the new identity could reach £250,000, with close supervision from probation officers adding another £1m.

Venables was sentenced to life aged 10 Venables appeared via video-link at the Old Bailey on Friday, and under unprecedented secrecy, was visible only to the judge.

He spoke just four words in court - answering "yes" to his name and pleading "guilty" to three child pornography charges. Following his sentence, some media organisations had applied to be able to report his new name. But the killer's lawyers voiced concerns that Venables' life would be seriously in danger if his identity did become public.

He spoke clearly and confidently when asked to respond to the child pornography charges he faced. He said the word "guilty" three times. It was claimed this would put him at further risk from attack in prison and could mean he would have to adopt another persona on his eventual release.

But a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Justice said it did not accept it was "inevitable" Venables would be given a new identity. She said: "Such a change of identity is extremely rare and granted only when the police assess that there is clear and credible evidence of a sustained threat to the offender's life on release into the community."

It has also emerged the Ministry of Justice will hold a review into how Venables was supervised after his release on licence in 2001.

The handling of the situation by police, probation officers and other agencies will be scrutinised.

At the Old Bailey, it was revealed that Venables had been living in Cheshire and the images were only found on his computer when he invited a probation officer to his home to discuss concerns that his identity had been discovered. The 27-year-old was found trying to remove his hard drive with a tin opener.

The court also heard that he had been under curfew after being arrested for fighting in 2008 and was also cautioned for possessing a small amount of cocaine. The review will examine whether these two circumstances should have led to him being jailed for breaching his licence. It is expected to last three months.

The fact that he was found attempting to remove\destroy his hard drive (with a tin opener?! :rolleyes: )suggests that, contrary to earlier speculation on this board, he did know that he had these images on his computer, perhaps suggesting that he could be an ongoing threat to children.

There is a view that he only served a fraction of a 'life' sentence and it was inappropriate\unjust to release him when he was. What do you think?

Do you think the probation service et al were negligent in their supervision of him? Should he have remained out on license when he had been found to be using cocaine and getting into fights?

I'm just interested to get a snapshot of opinion on this one... be good to avoid the derailment of 'it's so easy to accidentally get child porn on my computer :rolleyes: ' too if possible and look at this instance instead.

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Enough has been spent on him. His latest crime should have resulted in the loss of his 1st 'new identity'.

He would now be 'Jon Venables' and we could see how long he survives.

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A further report adds an interesting dimension:

Pervert Jon Venables posed as mum of girl aged 8 on internet

Jul 24 2010 Chris Greenwood

CHILD-KILLER Jon Venables posed as an abusive mum online and offered to sell "her" daughter to a paedophile.

Venables's sickening exchanges with convicted sex beast Leslie Blanchard were revealed at the Old Bailey as the killer admitted three child porn offences.

Louis Mably, prosecuting, said he told Blanchard that he was a 35-yearold mum called Dawn.

He added: "Dawn said she and her husband abused their daughter. Blanchard said he'd like to meet their daughter and abuse her himself.

"It appeared that Dawn agreed a price for selling her daughter for a few hours."

Mr Mably said Blanchard gave a telephone number but "Dawn" then broke off contact.

Venables, 27, admitted to police after he was arrested that he was aroused by child porn but claimed he was interested in teenage girls.

However, the court was told some of the children in the images he downloaded were as young as two - the same age as his victim James Bulger.

And some of the material featured girls of eight being raped.

It also emerged that Venables, who was released in 2001 under a new identity after serving eight years for murdering toddler James in Liverpool in 1993, was cautioned twice by police in 2008.

As he descended into a spiral of drink and drug abuse, he was first arrested for cocaine possession then for an alleged assault.

Last night, James's mother, Denise Fergus, who was in court for the hearing, demanded to know why his licence from prison was not revoked immediately he reoffended.

Denise, 42, was not allowed to look into the face of her son's killer 17 years since the murder trial.

To protect his false identity, he gave evidence via videolink from a prison in England, with only judge Mr Justice Bean able to see him.

Venables, who abducted, tortured and battered James to death with his friend Robert Thompson, spoke only four times - to confirm his name and to say "guilty" three times as the charges against him were read out.

After the hearing, his solicitor, John Gibson, said his client was "extremely remorseful" and thought about James every day.

He added that Venables knows he has "badly let down" everyone who tried to help him - and the friends who had become close to him with no idea of his real identity.

It was in February this year that Venables was arrested and recalled over child pornography allegations.

The probation service in Cheshire, where he was living, last night revealed how he was caught.

They said: "We were notified by Jon Venables that he believed his new identity was compromised, with a number of people in the community having identified him.

"When a police officer arrived to escort Venables to a new location, he found him tampering with the hard drive of his computer. "This aroused suspicions and he was removed to a police station. The computer was seized. "The computer was forensically examined and offences detected involving images of abuse." Venables had been trying to destroy the incriminating hard drive with a tin opener.

Sentencing Venables, Mr Justice Bean said as he was still on licence for the "horrific" murder of James, he would not be automatically released on serving half his two-year term.

The Parole Board, who will decide when he is released, could detain him longer than the two-year term, although this is thought to be unlikely. Venables was also put on the sex offenders' register for 10 years and banned from working with kids. Solicitor Mr Gibson claimed the unnatural pressure of his life had contributed to his offending.

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Guest Skinty

be issued with a new birth certificate, national insurance number and other documents when he is released. The newspaper estimated the cost of creating the new identity could reach £250,000

How on earth did the newspaper estimate this as costing £250K?

New birth certificates, NI numbers and other documents are given out all the time.

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How on earth did the newspaper estimate this as costing £250K?

New birth certificates, NI numbers and other documents are given out all the time.

You beat me to it. What qualifies them to come to that estimation?

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Probably the cost of all those reporters following him around.

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Guest Absolutely Fabulous

You beat me to it. What qualifies them to come to that estimation?

Police monitoring? It is still a condition of his release - is it not - that he tells anyone he has a close relationship with, that he was banged up for the Baby Bulger killing?

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How on earth did the newspaper estimate this as costing £250K?

New birth certificates, NI numbers and other documents are given out all the time.

Even that cost is too much when the state cant even 'afford' to provide orthopedic inserts for my friends 4 year old disabled son to help him walk properly :angry:

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Sounds like he broke most of the conditions of his release with impunity, I find the idea of Jon Venables being able to saunter over to watch a few Everton matches, being able to score coke, get into pissed up fights and having unmonitored internet access a piss-take of the first order.

If his identity remains secret then they should bang him up for good, he can't be trusted in general society that much has been proven, the fact that he couldn't even keep his head down despite all that has been done speaks volumes of his character.

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Guest Ian Chesterton

Sounds like he broke most of the conditions of his release with impunity, I find the idea of Jon Venables being able to saunter over to watch a few Everton matches, being able to score coke, get into pissed up fights and having unmonitored internet access a piss-take of the first order.

If his identity remains secret then they should bang him up for good, he can't be trusted in general society that much has been proved.

Part of me goes with "three strikes and your out", the other part of me thinks the press should be taxed to pay for any further protection. After all, it wouldn't be needed it it wasn't for them trying to sell a few extra papers.

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Sounds like he broke most of the conditions of his release with impunity, I find the idea of Jon Venables being able to saunter over to watch a few Everton matches, being able to score coke, get into pissed up fights and having unmonitored internet access a piss-take of the first order.

If his identity remains secret then they should bang him up for good, he can't be trusted in general society that much has been proven, the fact that he couldn't even keep his head down despite all that has been done speaks volumes of his character.

Yep.

It's not the Hollywood script is it - child does terrible wrong, spends his teens and early 20s in prison and is released into adulthood to make quiet amends for his earlier mistakes, earnestly rebuilding his life, doing good where he can before inevitably his past catches up with him and the local thugs decide to get retribution despite his reformed character. No, instead this scum decides to surf and distribute level 4 (whatever that is) kiddy pron as it is "one of the last taboos", knows it is wrong and attempts to cover it up. Lock him up and change the laws to do so if necessary. This wouldn't happen in Singapore.

(The other one involved has disappeared into anonymity, I gather?)

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Guest Ian Chesterton

(The other one involved has disappeared into anonymity, I gather?)

Do you get the feeling one of them may have been a little more responsible for the Bulger killing than the other? (I seem to remember something being said about that at the time)

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Police monitoring? It is still a condition of his release - is it not - that he tells anyone he has a close relationship with, that he was banged up for the Baby Bulger killing?

That would go on anyway (actually, I don't think the cops do monitor him as such, the probation service does) so where is this £250K estimate for a new identity coming from? Personally, I think they just made it up.

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Guest theboltonfury

Yep.

It's not the Hollywood script is it - child does terrible wrong, spends his teens and early 20s in prison and is released into adulthood to make quiet amends for his earlier mistakes, earnestly rebuilding his life, doing good where he can before inevitably his past catches up with him and the local thugs decide to get retribution despite his reformed character. No, instead this scum decides to surf and distribute level 4 (whatever that is) kiddy pron as it is "one of the last taboos", knows it is wrong and attempts to cover it up. Lock him up and change the laws to do so if necessary. This wouldn't happen in Singapore.

(The other one involved has disappeared into anonymity, I gather?)

Apparantly, he was caught as he was found trying to take out his hardrive with a tin-opener.

Given his previous, i'd like to know the judge's thought process when handing down the 2 years. He'll be out in 1.

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That would go on anyway (actually, I don't think the cops do monitor him as such, the probation service does) so where is this £250K estimate for a new identity coming from? Personally, I think they just made it up.

he'll have to move, so thats a new place, and as a new place is at least £300K, I think the estimate is on the low side.

I think he's had his chance, he should fend for himself.

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He should be sent to Broadmoor.

I tend to agree.

If his current alias (the one he got when he was let out the first time) has been compromised, it seems to me that there are four options.

1. He gets another new identity.

2. He doesn't, and when he's let out this time he has to take his chances with his present identity.

3. He emigrates (difficult, as no self-respecting country would take him)

4. He is recalled to jail for the rest of his life.

Venables was originally let out on licence from a life sentence, meaning that if he puts a foot wrong, he can be recalled. Not only has he put a foot wrong, but as has been pointed out above, he has done so in a way that suggests strongly that he poses an ongoing risk to society if he is ever at large again. Not only would giving him another new identity take £250k of taxpayers' money from purposes it could be used a lot better for, but there is no guarantee that he won't be in the same situation again in a few years' time. Furthermore, it is rumoured that photos of him as an adult have circulated widely online, and so he would probably need plastic surgery as well.

Admittedly, incarcerating him for the rest of his life will cost a lot more than £250k, but given that executing him isn't an option (and nor would it have been anyway, as no civilised country imposes the death penalty for crimes committed at age 10, however serious) and given that he has shown that he is a continuing and serious risk when at liberty, IMO it's the least worst option.

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Furthermore, it is rumoured that photos of him as an adult have circulated widely online, and so he would probably need plastic surgery as well.

Most concerning for anyone with a passing resemblance to him - there is a danger of vigilante attacks on the wrong person.

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Apparantly, he was caught as he was found trying to take out his hardrive with a tin-opener.

Given his previous, i'd like to know the judge's thought process when handing down the 2 years. He'll be out in 1.

I doubt it. He now comes back under the terms of his original release so he will only be released once he is considered 'safe.' That could be never.

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Do you get the feeling one of them may have been a little more responsible for the Bulger killing than the other? (I seem to remember something being said about that at the time)

A very, very good point.

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I doubt it. He now comes back under the terms of his original release so he will only be released once he is considered 'safe.' That could be never.

Do you have a link for this? - I've heard several news reports talking of his release in a year with little talk of the (very sensible) point you mention.

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Guest Ian Chesterton

Already happened to one man who if I remember correctly had a mob after him.

A very good reason why mob justice should never be tolerated, even in cases like this.

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If he should really be released he should get a new identity. If he's still a danger he shouldn't be released. Turning things over to mob justice is never the right thing to do IMO.

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he'll have to move, so thats a new place, and as a new place is at least £300K, I think the estimate is on the low side.

I think he's had his chance, he should fend for himself.

The probation service isn't going to buy him a house though. They'll just arrange somewhere for him to rent which he'll pay for out of his wages. Even if they did buy him a house they aren't going to give it to him.

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They will send him to Australia, like they did to the girlfriend of the Soham muders, so he can have a really hard life out there, at our expense. Jamie Bulger would be 22 now. How tragic.

She isn't in Oz. Actually, there were rumours that Robert Thompson was sent there but that turned out to be rubbish too. There were strong suspicions that Maxine Carr was in Sweden for some reason. Anyway, I'm 90% sure I know where she was living (may still be) due to a load mouthed barman - confirmed by other sources.

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Do you have a link for this? - I've heard several news reports talking of his release in a year with little talk of the (very sensible) point you mention.

I'd read it in a couple of them. I think the judge even said that.

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