herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Bulger's killer may face 10 years for parole breach

JAMES Bulger's killer, Jon Venables may escape prosecution for his alleged parole breach. Sources said "no decision had been made" over prosecution for breaking his parole conditions.

British Justice Secretary Jack Straw is being pushed by senior advisors to take the "easier option" of leaving the case in the hands of the parole board to stop "lurid details coming out in full Technicolor" in court, it was reported.

The news came as James's mother, Denise Fergus, called for the Children's Commissioner to be sacked for "twisted and insensitive" comments about the murder of her son.

She spoke out after Dr Maggie Atkinson said his killers should never have been prosecuted because they were too young to understand the full consequences of their actions.

Reports have claimed Venables will escape court punishment but could still spend 10 years behind bars strictly for breaking his parole conditions.

The Ministry of Justice was unable to confirm reports today that Venables was moved to a different jail at the weekend over fears for his safety.

The Government ruled out Dr Atkinson's proposal to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 12 years, saying children aged 10 and over did know the difference between "bad behaviour and serious wrongdoing".

Dr Atkinson described the killing as "exceptionally unpleasant" but said it was wrong that Robert Thompson and Venables, who were 10 in 1993 when they were charged with murder, were tried in an adult court.

Mrs Fergus told reporters: "This woman owes James and me an apology for her twisted and insensitive comments.

"Then she should resign or be sacked."

hnews@herald.ie

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