THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
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What rights are conferred by your son being murdered?

Jon Venables could be killed if his identity is revealed, key judge warns | UK news | The Guardian.

Any parent feels for Denise Fergus. We can sympathise with her unabated anger against the two young children (now adults) who killed her son. But her insistence that as James Bulger's mother she has a "right" to know what his killers are doing now is quite wrong. They are so loathed for what they did as children that, without new identities, they would have no chance of a law-abiding life. If charged with another crime, they would have certainly have no chance - under their real names - of a fair trial.

Their sentences are served. Perhaps some may feel they were not long enough. Others may feel they should have been executed. But they are entitled to the same chance to sin no more any of us would expect when we had paid the price of a crime. Lady Elizabeth Butler-Sloss's original order protecting their identity was therefore both wise and fair. We can forgive Denise Fergus for her anger and hatred. We can perhaps even understand why she wants her son's killers at the mercy of the mob. But it would be very far from justice.

Politicians have repeatedly exploited this tragic case. Tony Blair used it as his "broken society" moment; in effect blaming the Conservatives, not two profoundly disturbed children (and the parents who raised them), for Jamie Bulger's death. Michael Howard was no better. As Home Secretary, he gave in to a Sun campaign for their minimum sentence to be extended.  Lord Donaldson gave the civilised view of that incident when he described it as "institutionalised vengeance" by a "politician playing to the gallery."

Someone close to Jack Straw recently decided to announce that Jon Venables was back in custody. Why? There was no need disturb Ms Fergus's sleep or arouse the vengeful mob. Presumably it was an attempt to make political capital by associating the government with tough action against a hated individual. New Labour's political instincts have failed it again however and the gambit has gone badly wrong. I am sad that some usually-sensible voices in the British blogosphere are, in effect, siding with a lynch mob. They have been duped by cynical politicians and are playing right into their hands.


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I only agree with the fact that Denise only has as much right to know as we all do. And given that I do not feel such barbaric psychopaths can be rehabilitated and the Gov't protects them at society's expense[and not just monetary], we DO have the right to know what two anonymous killers are up to , as they walk our streets.

Yes, they paid their 'debt'to society ,however, I do not feel that their identities should be protected now that they are adults[but would have been fine with those details not being revealed when they were minors].

The facts are that BOTH Venebales and Thompson have breached their terms of licence in the past and committed crimes on more than on occasion so it makes one wonder why is one being recalled NOW, when they were given carte blanche in past[ to save the system's face] ?

They have not lead law abiding lives and both showed a tendancy towards violence prior to James Bulger's murder and after- since being free.

I do not feel that they have been exploited by politicians but coddled, hence they were never recalled before now despite criminal activity which would have nullified anyon elses' parole.

And how would you like one of your daughters to marry one of them, have children with one and more importantly leave her children alone with one-not knowing whom she has married/procreated with and what the risks are of leaving Juniour with 'Daddy' for an afternoon,because their safety/anonymity was /is deemed more relevant than anyone elses' safety/right to know?

I don't agree with lynch mobs but I'd choke them myself if I ever came across one!


Venebales and the spiritual criminals who support him in the disgraced UK liberal socialist judiciary should all be consigned to hell.Sooner or later they will all have to lined up against a wall and shot.


Tony E is on the money.

Tony E

Venables should not be named and the law clearly states this. The first principle of the law is the subject's equality before it, which should not be diluted for any purpose (lest we all face the same interference later for the satisfaction of the mob if we are unfortunate enough to be before the courts).

There is no question in my mind as to why this was released to the public : CHILCOTT.

Brown lied his way through his evidence and knew he would have to, this story was too good to pass up as a smokescreen, so they leaked it to the press.

Trooper Thompson

As I've said chez moi, it's an exceptional case, and we should not base the rule on the exceptions, but as a member of the public, I find the notion that we should all shut up and leave it to the authorities who know better somewhat unconvincing to say the least.

If the justice system in this country hadn't been utterly sabotaged by liberal know-betters, if they weren't, on a daily basis, releasing violent, dangerous, predatory felons who are almost certain to commit terrible crimes, we the public may be a little more indulgent and level-headed in this particular case, which is, as I've said, exceptional.


Nobody has a right to know, the whole case has been turned into a public media circus.

I feel for the mother very much, but the way this has been dealt with over the years is making it worse for her.


The public has a right to know as they have paid for his undeserved anonymity and so-called rehabilitation. Right now,they are paying for his trip to jail where he is being secluded probably at additional cost. They likely also paid for the computer on which he downloaded child porn. Denise Fergus, as well as every other member of the public has a right to know what this menace to society has done. Venables could have been downloading child porn displaying your own child or an underage relative of yours or mine. Would you have then thought that the public does not have a right to know about it? Venables was a social/criminal experiment that has failed spectacularly: Treat a child criminal like a priveleged human being by providing him with an excellent education and material comforts for 8 years and then release him to an unwitting society who has no idea who he is and let's cross our fingers. The fact that Venables has reoffended probably comes as a surprise only to those who deemed him fit for release. He was given special treatment when he should have been treated in accordance with his brutal crime. If he deserves special treatment, then the Bulger family deserves even more special treatment as his direct victims. When James was murdered, his entire family was and still is affected. Furthermore, Mrs. Fergus has stated that she was told that she would be informed if any reoffending occurred. That time has come and as such, she has a right to know what happened. She may not have a right to the details but she does have a right to be treated like a victim of crime and with respect and consideration. Surely you can understand that.


If he is convicted of whatever it is that he is being accused of then I think we would have a right to know, simply because it helps further public understanding of the effectiveness of rehabilitating children convicted of very serious crimes.


Well done, Tom. I couldn't get onto this one soon enough and hoped someone would put this angle.

Andrew Withers (LPUK)

The stench of political opportunism has clouded the whole episode.


I agree with you, no-one has any right to know the details of why Venables has been jailed. It really is nothing to do with anyone outside of the immediate (small) circle of justice system officials.


Society passed sentence on Venables for the appalling crime he committed. He was jailed and strenuous efforts appear to have been made to rehabilitate him psychologically. Significant resources were used to provide him with a new identity to help him return to society and live a normal life - albeit under license. His part of the deal was to stick to the rules and stay out of trouble.

He has apparently failed to do this, so the course of action is clear.

If he really has breached the license conditions (a parole board decision for which I dont believe a new trial would be needed) then he must be returned to jail permanently. As a society we have tried to ensure he had an opportunity to live a normal life, we've done our bit, he has let us and himself down and should pay the price.

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