Liverpool

James Bulger father's statement at Venables hearing

The father of murdered Liverpool toddler James Bulger has given a victim statement at the parole hearing of Jon Venables, one of his son's killers.

Ralph Bulger told Leeds Crown Court his life has been a "daily nightmare" since James was murdered in 1993.

Appearing via videolink from Liverpool Crown Court, he told the hearing he suffered from post-traumatic stress and depression.

Venables, 28, was jailed last year for downloading images of child sex abuse.

Speaking outside Liverpool Crown Court, Mr Bulger's solicitor Robin Makin said: "It's a daily nightmare for all of them. It still is. Things have not really got better.

"The problem as we see it is this - the authorities, because of their liberal agenda, don't really want to see Jon Venables for the person that he actually is.

"The authorities just don't want to see what is there, the sexual element, how that has undoubtedly scarred Jon Venables all his life and came to manifest itself later on."

Denise Fergus, James's mother, did not attend the hearing but made a statement to the parole board in writing.

The board now has 10 days to consider its decision.

New identity

Venables was 10-years-old when he and friend Robert Thompson abducted and murdered two-year-old James Bulger in Bootle in 1993.

The toddler was beaten with bricks and iron bars and his body left on a railway line.

They were detained at Her Majesty's pleasure, the usual substitute for life imprisonment for juvenile offenders. They were freed in 2001 when they turned 18, despite a public outcry.

Venables was living in Cheshire under a new identity when a probation officer found indecent images of children on his computer in early 2010.

He was sentenced to two years in prison in July of that year after pleading guilty to three offences under the 1978 Protection of Children Act.

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