READ ALSO: Susan Venables: Who Is Jon Venables' Mother? Walton Village Financial Services would lend you pounds 300 for Christmas and demand a total of pounds 460 in repayment. Are they mad? In all, they played truant four times. The guilty verdicts came quickly - within five hours. Mrs Venables has also said that she felt. Robert said 'If you tell anybody I'll get my big brother to batter you up'. She was paranoid about being discovered. They looked, moved, fidgeted, scratched, cried - even sucked their thumbs - just like any 11-year-olds. When social workers came round, they did so to see his sister and his brother, who had learning difficulties and was receiving special education. Were they to blame? Email us at or call 0207 782 4368. Twenty-five years on, Im still prone to hot tears at the memory of it all and I do question the trial. He was repulsed because he found Robert's disdain for authority scary. They hid his body under bricks so that the first train to come along cut his body in two, but he was already dead before this happened. When Jon's parents gave a recent press interview, it was Mrs Venables who did most of the talking; the father just sat and cried. The street in which Robert lived was not untypical: a row of terraced bay windowed houses that stretched from the railway line back towards the city. I'm bringing up on my own but if I went round and screwed every warehouse my children would have everything too.'. Her husband came back to Walton now and again to see his mother, but he never came to see the boys. Read about our approach to external linking. Both had parents who had separated. fun to be with" and always had plenty of friends. It was a sign of such restlessness that he was unable to hang on to a football team for long - he kept shifting his allegiance like a floating voter. He is one of those children that if you told him to put his hand in the fire, he would. 'It was good. Thompson, who gained five GCSEs and A-levels in design and technology, is said to have developed an interest in theatre. She also had to stay strong for the remaining children. Ironically, the relationship between mother and son improved when he, was behind bars. From the moment Robert Thompson and Jon Venables were convicted of the murder of James Bulger, their, families have been condemned to lives spent looking over their shoulders. But after a year they let Ian out again. Directly in front of the bench was the raised dock in which Thompson, Venables, and two social workers would sit for the next four weeks. Please review our, You need to be a subscriber to join the conversation. The Liverpool Echo boasted that their man had one of 'just 34 seats' allocated to the international press. "The age of criminal responsibility in this country is 10 that's too low. 1967. Get the latest Scottish crime and courts news sent straight to your inbox with our daily Criminal Record newsletter. Meanwhile, Thompson has not re-offended since his release, and is believed to be in a long-term relationship with a man who knows who he really is. The statement said: "The man formerly known as Jon Venables has been charged with offences relating to indecent images of children and will appear in the Crown Court. A day later, when James still hadnt been found, it was clear from CCTV footage that he had been taken by children. He will soon have a parole hearing, according to The Mirror. From a distance Robert looked a sweet child. Susan Venables's bent body shrank deeper into itself. In search of an explanation, award-winning journalist David James Smith looks behind the misinformation, misunderstanding and sensational reporting to an exact . Forensic and pathology evidence was a huge challenge for everyone, not least the jury who were shown pictures of James' injuries. James Bulger was weeks away from his third birthday, Jon Venables and Robert Thompson behaved very differently in court, The secret mine that hid the Nazis' stolen treasure. 'The attitude when you live where we live is that you have to be tough or else you don't survive,' she said. ', They sagged off in the afternoon and walked around the shops in County Road, near Walton. Knowing why Venables is back behind bars is a start. He was a loyal fan, though he did not go often to Goodison Park. I made notes of the pathologists evidence. Venables was sent to prison in 2010 for breaching the terms of his licence, was released on parole again in 2013, and in November 2017 was again sent to prison for possessing child sexual abuse images on his computer. 'I couldn't be arsed talking about them,' said one. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Once they went into a home decoration shop and hid under a pile of carpets. His mind was too restless to take up other hobbies for long. 'I didn't know it would be like this,' Mr Venables said with hindsight. Susan Venabless bent body shrank deeper into itself. I wasnt on duty that day, so the very beginnings of the story washed over me. Something went wrong, please try again later. Another added: "An awful mistake??!! Could they have planned to do it in advance? Ironically, Jon was the child who caused his parents least anxiety. When Jon left home on the morning of Friday, February 12 he was happy because it was the last day of school before a week's holiday and he was going to take some pet gerbils home. DAVID James Smith, who visited Mrs Thompson at one of her secret homes, reveals that it was a sad existence. "The reality is that the case for varying the injunction has simply not been made.". Her family were dignified throughout, but on that day one of theBulgerfamily supporters allowed themselvesa loud 'YES' as the verdicts came in. Venables was a different creature. Both parents hope was that he would make something of his life and eventually find some peace. Best of all, they would spend time on the Walton railway line where Robert had built a den close to the bridge. The Crown Prosecution Service released a statement in January confirming Venables had been charged. the street. 'We have never really been apart,' Mrs Venables said. The suspect was waiting outside Scotmid on Tullichewan Drive, Alexandria, when staff opened the doors at 7am. There was a pattern of bullying, with the older boys picking on their younger brothers down the line. Child killer Mary Bell and Maxine Carr, the former girlfriend of Soham murderer Ian Huntley, are the others. Our feelings haven't changed towards him. Not that he had any need to borrow his dad's. IN their interviews with the two boys, psychiatrists could find no clues to why the boys acted so violently. Monday, 1st May 2023See today's front and back pages, download the newspaper, order back issues and use the historic Daily Express newspaper archive. He was also given 'respite care' - six weekly weekend breaks to relieve the family of the burden of looking after him. They played a double act towards the children: his mother, Susan, aged 36, a sharp woman with a hawkish look, was the hard one. After a while he tried to commit suicide to get back in. Print. Most populous nation: Should India rejoice or panic? I suspect she still feels that., In 2001 there was a renewed uproar over the case when it emerged that the killers were to be freed, despite a. recommendation by the trial judge that they should remain behind bars for a very long time. But Robert was stuck in Walton with his older brothers and the baby. He believes these were evil boys. 'I sat away from him - he caused trouble,' Jon said. They would hang around the video shop in Walton Village where the shop girl was pleased to have their company. enneagram type 4 relationship compatibility Your Cart -$ 0.00; sono bello before and after At Preston Crown Court a few months later, I was one of a handful of journalists given full access to the small courtroom for the trial of Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, both now 11-years-old. They were in the Strand shopping centre in Bootle when the brother wandered off. The Sun website is regulated by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), Our journalists strive for accuracy but on occasion we make mistakes. I just burst into tears because you just knew what that meanther heart was broken. This would have been at about 5.30pm - just the time the boys were about to begin killing Jamie. Most of the fun revolved around shoplifting - sweets, trolls, pepperami, tins of modelling paint, drinks, candles; anything, really. Her comments came as attempts are stepped up to protect both him and fellow killer, Robert Thompson, from attack. Venables has been convicted twice since being set free - Robert is not believed to have reoffended. Denise Fergus is the same age as me, a fact I only registered when I met her for the first time two weeks ago. One neighbour said she always let him into her home whenever his mother was out. Both Venables and Robert Thompson were 10 years-old when they tortured and killed 2 year-old James Bulger, Thompson and Venables were tried as adults, James Bulger, aged 2 years old, being led away in a shopping centre in Liverpool, James Bulger's murder case could now be investigated, The petition is on nearly 15,000 signatures, James Bulger was just two when he was brutally murdered, He had been out shopping with his mum Denise, James was made to walk two miles before being left for dead on a disused rail line, Denise tirelessly campaigned to have their sentence increased. After a while the 10-year-olds began to charge - a tenner an interview. "All he said when we've said 'Why didn't you run away?' They deal with drugs, they deal with everything. Neil Venables regarded himself as the Barry Norman of Merseyside - a film buff with a penchant for horror. The appearance in court this week of Venables, now a 35-year-old man, on charges of possessing indecent images of children, was a jarring reminder that, still a quarter of a century on, his rehabilitation is more an ambition than a reality. Behind them eyes bore into them - from everyone on all sides, journalists, their parents, members of the public, and of course, theBulgerfamily. Among the list were several horror films, including one video in which the police took special interest: Child's Play 3, a film which carries the line 'Children are consumer trainees'. . His mother was not so keen on the idea - they cost pounds 35 each. Robert passed this down the line bullying his eight-year-old brother into playing truant. His mother especially has been a tower of strength, says the source. It would be a week before we heard their voices, in hours of taped police interviews, They stopped us all in our tracks. Chris Davies worked alongside Rodgers at Parkhead before following him to Leicester City. Robert always wanted to stay out late and encouraged Jon to join him. ", Children accused of a crime are usually granted anonymity, but at the end of the trial the judge allowed both to be named, "because the public interest overrode the interest of the defendants.". For his parents, the fact they were children was actually a cause for hope at that point. ", Neil added: "I feel for that family. He was always getting prizes for maths at school. Although not officially entered into a witness protection programme they were given help by the authorities in finding new homes and taking on new identities. Meghan Markle's estranged family share unseen photo she 'never wanted the world to see'. He had left her to bring up six children alone. 'It's always our family that gets the blame,' Robert said to police after he was arrested for James's murder. The Swedes, French, Germans, Canadian and Americans had all come to gaze at Liverpool's child killers. Truanting, or 'sagging off', had become a way of life for Robert. Robert had eaten too many and felt sick. Sometimes Robert would sag off on his own, but it was more fun with a friend. I do believe that she feels guilty deep down for her own part in what happened., Despite the risks of discovery, the relationship is said to have contin- ued to thrive following Thompsons. Info Share. How do we create a person's profile? The toddler was snatched from the Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle, Merseyside, on February 12, 1993 by the two schoolboys. The first time he asked Jon to play truant with him was last September, only weeks after they had become friends. They passed 36 people, with one recalling how they urged the boys to take their 'little brother' home because he was 'crying for his mummy'. Jon only revealed his part in the tot's murder after they reassured him they'd still love him if he confessed. Susan Venables, now 53, suffered from severe depres-sion and struggled with her two other children, an older son and younger daughter, who suffered learning difficulties. Hyperactive children can't sit still all day,' Mrs Venables said. Jon Venables is demonstrably no such thing. Jon was afraid of her. Just something to do.'. I wish we could turn the clocks back," Mrs Venables said. Then, one Friday in February, they discovered a new rule to break: they murdered a two-year-old. Meanwhile, A petition demanding a public inquiry into James Bulger's murder case has got nearly 15,000 signatures in one day. But I still kept him in if he was naughty or anything like that.'. 'His mum was more strict. And there were rewards for breaking rules. We feel so sorry for him because he must be going through so much torment. His father, Neil, an unemployed panel-beater, was separated from his mother but they lived only a mile apart, saw each other every other day, and took equal care of the children. Celtic fans are 'hyenas' as Brendan Rodgers' confidant reveals all about the rules of Fortress Paradise. Facebook gives people the power to. A pathologist later said that there were so many injuries - 42 in total - that not one could be isolated as causing the little boy's fatal wound. Thompson and Venables, now both 27 years old, are among only four individuals in the UK whose crimes are so notorious that they have been given lifelong anonymity. She acknowledged her son had committed a terrible crime but claimed that her innocent younger children were being denied a proper education because of having to abandon their homes to escape attacks. Reporters from around the world ended up in the drab streets of Walton, cadging interviews off any 10-year-old boys hanging around in the streets. For she added: 'But he's not a murderer.'. One woman asked how James had injured his forehead. Mum sent home from GP after reporting headaches learns she has rare brain tumour. His mother and father's naive words on their son's involvement in the horrific murder now make for disturbing reading, as the paedophile pleaded guilty on Wednesday to possessing more than 1,000 indecent images of children and a "paedo manual". Every day the public gallery was packed with students, pensioners, mothers, teenagers, all drawn to the courtroom spectacle as to a TV soap. INSIDE the court sat the two boys, dwarfed by the weight and majesty of the place. We still dont know why. But both had been treated for depression and were living apart at the time of the trial. That's the thing that upsets me because obviously where I was standing poor little James must have been not. Neither gave evidence to the court, but were found guilty after an officer told how Venables admitted the murder, saying, "We did it. Venables was banned from any internet access after his last release in 2013, but the judge was told he started searching for child abuse images last July. The real question about Meghans new look: did Harry actually notice? Denise Fergus remains convinced both will always be a danger to children. Dr Lauren Juyia discovered her own stage 4 colon cancer at age 37 despite only experiencing two mild symptoms. Liverpool FC Jude Bellingham transfer: . "I think about little James and what he must have gone through, how they must feel. They saw it with their eyes. Grainy CCTV footage later showed the innocent toddler being led away by Venables and Thompson, who marched the little boy through the streets of Bootle for two miles - a walk that would have taken hours given his size. He also pleaded guilty to having more than 1,000 indecent images of children for the second time - these pictures included kids aged 6-13. This service is provided on News Group Newspapers' Limited's Standard Terms and Conditions in accordance with our Privacy & Cookie Policy. During the trial she said: "Yes, he did tell some lies, but he also told the truth about one thing from beginning to end - he did not kill that baby. Not their punishmentand exclusion from society for the rest of their childhood. The end of the court case was not the end of course. The parents of James Bulgers killers have also come to learn that the consequences of that terrible day will stay with them for ever too. They would sneak out during the morning break, hiding behind a wall before the coast was clear. Born 10 days apart in August 1982 in Liverpool. Scot fears her cancer has spread during five month wait for NHS chemotherapy. 'When the fisticuffs ended, they made friends.' For a start, there were only three children, of whom Jon was the middle. Who are Jon Venables and Robert Thompsons parents and what have they said about James Bulgers murder? Mrs Venables walked around the area for hours, searching for him. He had that odd combination of obsession with and disdain for possessions that is characteristic of children who have never enjoyed any of their own. 'It was very dark and I shouted down, shouted his name. The living versions on the floor of the court looked equally wrinkled and austere. Absence of a male role model is increasingly being explored - by both left and right - as one of the main reasons why today's boys and young men are going wrong; why 90 per cent of indictable offences are committed by men. The only sign he was discomforted by hearing it was a near constant pulling of his tongue in his hands. In the years between Venabless first return to prison and this latest conviction he was deemed to be living successfully in the community, when in fact he was working out ways to dodge his internet ban and hiding a computer in his headboard in order to download abusive images of children, including what the judge described this week as serious crimes inflicted on male toddlers. Lawyers for the pair argued that the adult court venue and publicity made it impossible for the schoolboys to be given a fair trial. "In terms of knowing what the full consequences of your actions are, you are into older childhood or adolescence. Lady Penelope was his favourite character because she was rich, followed by Brains with the glasses. Susan cried silently in the interview room as Jon was charged with the toddler's murder, and was eventually forced to leave Liverpool with a new identity after an avalanche of death threats. The prosecution, led by Richard Henriques QC, made its case quite simply really, using the journey they took James on to tell the story. 'Sometimes I told Robbie to do things so he does,' he told a police officer, with pride in his voice. of Household Head Line 1 Page 1 Household William Venables Head M 39 Liverpool Lancaster Susannah Venables Wife F 37 Liverpool Lancaster Susan Jane Venables Daughter F 2 Port . Forlorn hope, though. The left will make play of social deprivation, unemployment, bad housing and general inner-city rot. When they finally came to a disused railway track near the police station, the murderous duo tortured James, throwing stones and bricks at the baby, and kicking and stamping on him before finally dropping a heavy iron bar on to the defenceless tot. Without anyone in the family to turn to for support, he had to look outside for people whose swaggering aggression he could emulate. Many commentators regarded Venables's parents, Neil and Susan, a working-class couple from Liverpool, respectable compared with the Thompsons. They and Ann Thompson, who has six other. On March 4, 2019, it was announcedVenables is to keep his anonymity after a judge ruled it would protect him from "serious violence". At his first primary school the headmistress referred him to a psychologist, noting how he used to bang his head against the classroom wall to gain attention. After killing the tot Robert and Jon left his body near the tracks where it was discovered two days later. He started with Liverpool, but by the time of the murder he had switched to Blackburn Rovers. Some neighbours claim they saw the boy snaring birds into traps in the back yard of his home, while one local youth claimed he saw the boy pull the heads off live baby pigeons. Security launched a search for James inside the centre and James' family searched for their son overnight. It's a very difficult situation, when you are getting no support as a family, you're alone and you face the world alone, the same as I'm doing now.". At 6.15pm on August 4, when she told him over the phone that she intended going out to a Grimsby night club, he was so angry that he hung up on her. At Preston Crown Court Thompsons mother Ann and Venables parents Neil and Sue sat side by side. Maybe it was that incident that put the idea into Jon or Robbie's head to 'get a little boy lost'. The beginnings of the friendship were inauspicious enough. I got on with my job, but months later the impact of that trial had sunk in and a difficult, tearful, confusing year followed for me. "My heart really goes out to them. As his killers began their sentences, such was the revulsion that it was already clear their families could not. The experience gave Jon renewed confidence, and the second time they sagged off together he suggested it. 'In this state it is quite painful to see a normal relationship between mother and child. Marcus Rashford saves 'world's sexiest footballer' Alisha Lehmann from nightclub mob. Look at mine. A sudden pause in the tapes and one of the officers appeared in person to describe how he asked Neil and Susan Venables to leave the room because he thought Jon wanted to tell him something. It was another derby defeat for Beale who is yet to crack the code on how to get the better of Celtic. The 2 pressing Rangers questions that just won't go away as haunted Michael Beale faces familiar Celtic hangover - Keith Jackson. I didnt connect the dots until much later on. His mother, Anne Marie Thompson, who is 39, got the house from the local housing trust after her husband, Robert, ran off with a woman from Stockport five years ago. Speaking through a friend, Susan Venables, who has been under protection ever. The chilling words of Jon Venables' parents have resurfaced 25 years after he killed Jamie Bulger . The case of James, a two-year-old who was snatched from a shopping centre in Bootle, Liverpool, in 1993, before being tortured and left to die, shocked the nation. Susan Jane . (modern). Mrs Thompson said she was so often called to Walton Lane police station to retrieve her truanting son that they should have given her a job there. The days James was abducted, February 12 1993, I was a young reporter in my home city of Liverpool. Denise Bulger believes her son's murderers - men now - should be in prison for ever. Their kids have got everything. The government will be required to respond within 14 days if as the petition achieves more than 100,000 signatures. Guilty of abducting and murdering James PatrickBulger. My young body must have been tense with the deep anxiety that permeated every inch of that courtroom. Most people would regard such sentiments as having come rather late in the day and certainly too late to save poor James. When shop keepers asked what they were doing they would pretend they were waiting for their mum. Heck, we don't even have murderers that young in New York.'. Jon Venables has had his hopes of Christmas freedom dashed after a parole hearing was ditched until the new year. Its beyond me," one viewer tweeted. He was released in 2013 after he was deemed to no longer be a risk to children, but told police in 2017 he "needed help to understand why he did this and ensure he didn't do it again". What they did was exceptionally unpleasant and the fact that a little boy ended up dead is not something the nation can easily forget. Or they would mess around in shops, playing on computer games if Robert had his way, sliding on the polished floors if Jon had his. Verdict day came. Speaking in February 2018, he said: 40 months is a joke. He had an elder brother, aged 13, and a nine-year-old sister. "One mystery surrounding the murder of James Bulger case is why the 'experts' insisted that Jon Venables was rehabilitated. A torrent of questions erupted from the moment the grim news came out that James Bulger's body had been found on a railway line in Liverpool and the last people seen with him were two ten-year-olds, captured on grainy CCTV footage. The citys worst instincts produced the wrongful hounding of a family whose sons people decided were responsible. The details of Jamess death were sickening. got customers to rank the best and worst seaside towns in the UK. The study found that 18 per cent of residents in Edinburgh are convinced they've had a legitimate UFO sighting. Shed never been back but she clearly missed Liverpool and had tried to recreate the city in her new home, he recalls. The naive words of the paedo's parents have come to light once again as a new documentary is set to air on ITV 25 years after the horrific murder. Mrs Thompson worked as an office cleaner until two years ago, when she got pregnant again by another man, who also left her. Jon spent Sunday to Thursday with his mum and the rest of every week with his dad. But however hollow a gesture it might have seemed, those who are in touch with the Thompson and Venables families insist that they have sought to make some sort of amends with their sons after the horrific events of 17 years ago that will rightly stay with them for the rest of their lives. I would like to thank all the academics, tutors, and They did. Money was always a struggle, and she got through the first years drinking in Higson's Top House off St Mary's Lane. Susan Venables' son, Jon, is currently awaiting release from the secure unit where he has been held for the past eight years. The boys at Dyson Hall were the object of some envy among their mates because they were given tracksuits and trainers upon arrival and went on trips to Alton Towers. A newspaper man from Detroit said it was because 'Liverpool is the Beatles and love, love, love. Throughout the police interview, Jon was accompanied by his crestfallen parents Susan and Neil. At 6.31pm she text-messaged him to ask him not . sons, were settled in council houses within easy reach of the institutions where their sons were being held. On the days he was at school he had a knack for stirring things up. He is an old-fashioned crime and punishment man. Venables and Thompson were seen on CCTV calmly leading the toddler out of the shopping centre by his hand. "BULL**** about 'two frightened kids whod made a terrible mistake' The tapes said they kept stoning him, even when he kept getting up. The right will draw attention to the broken homes, the single parents, the persistent truancy. Thompson did what he often did, looked around, grabbing clumsily at his tongue. Mr Venables ran out of the car and grabbed him, while Robert ran off down the street laughing and shouting: 'You can't catch me.'. We know what hes capable of. Robert's mother agreed with her son's assessment: 'Name one family in the area who would have a good word for us.'. In court, he hid his face again. He stayed away from school so often the local police called him a professional truant. Now we waited. Jobs were few and far between. 'You'd better tell the truth. Less thanfive hours laterthe verdicts were in. 'Provided you have no court orders for debts already,' the man on the phone would add helpfully. Susan Venables has blamed "weakness" for her son's role in the killing of James Bulger, claiming that he "got involved with the wrong person". Venables has now been caged for 40 months. And now The Bulger Killers: Was Justice Done? School had no hold on him - there was no corporal punishment or other form of penalty that touched him. his mother was told that it was important that she stayed in his life and stood by him. The questioning was calm, steady, even playful at the beginning to try to get a sense the two boys really did know the difference between right and wrong. 557. A heartstopping moment came when the playing of the tapes in court was paused. Superintendent Kirby is a religious man. Venables on the other hand was becoming increasingly agitated in the police interviews. His mother called him hyperactive since, even more than his friend, he was scarcely able to sit still. But his comment sparked anger from viewers. Lock him in it.'. When they abducted, tortured, and eventually killed James, age 2, and dumped his body by a railroad track in Liverpool 25 years ago, Venables, now 40, and Robert Thompson, then 10, were both 10 years old. They had much in common. "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).". Other parents came in to complain about attention seeking. Another time they were saucy and asked a sales girl if she stocked 'fishy nickers'. 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