James Bulger killer Jon Venables jailed over indecent images

Jon Venables Image copyright Merseyside Police
Image caption Jon Venables was 10 when he and Robert Thompson killed James Bulger

Jon Venables, one of the killers of toddler James Bulger, has been jailed for possessing child abuse images for the second time.

He admitted charges of making indecent images of children and one of having a "sickening" paedophile manual.

Sentencing him to three years and four months Mr Justice Edis said Venables was "manipulative and dishonest".

James's mother faced a "horrendous ordeal" hearing the killer's "vile behaviour" in court, a spokesman said.

Denise Fergus and James's father Ralph Bulger were at the Old Bailey to hear the latest guilty pleas.

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Media captionRalph Bulger says the sentence given to Jon Venables is an insult

Following the hearing, campaigners condemned Venables' sentence as "too short".

Chris Johnson, of the Justice for James Campaign, said: "Sitting through this hearing this morning was a horrendous ordeal for Denise, having to listen to the vile and repulsive behaviour that Venables has engaged in yet again.

"The length of the sentence is too short. Three years is really a farce because this is re-offending and there is a pattern to this behaviour.

"There should be no further collusion or attempts to cover up his offending behaviour. If re-bailed he must be kept on a very tight leash."

Image copyright PA
Image caption James Bulger was two when he was abducted and killed in 1993

In 2010, Venables had been jailed for two years after admitting downloading and distributing indecent images.

Along with Robert Thompson, he abducted, tortured and killed two-year-old James in Liverpool in 1993 when they were both aged 10.

They were released on licence in 2001 after serving eight years for the murder and were both given new identities.

Venables, who has lifelong anonymity, appeared by videolink at the Old Bailey earlier.

Images of babies

He admitted having 392 category A images - deemed the most severe - 148 category B and 630 category C pictures.

The court heard when Venables' computer was seized in November images were found of children, mainly aged between six and 13, although some were younger.

Mr Justice Edis said some of the images found were of babies.

"Given your history, it is significant that a number of the images and films were of serious crimes inflicted on male toddlers," he said.

Officers also found a "paedophile manual", described by prosecutor Louis Mably as a "disgusting and sickening document which falls far below any recognisable standard of morality".

Image copyright PA
Image caption James Bulger's mother Denise Fergus faced a "horrendous ordeal" hearing the killer's "vile behaviour" in court, a spokesman said

Mr Justice Edis said possessing the manual suggested Venables was "at least contemplating the possibility" of committing an actual sexual crime against children.

Along with the jail sentence, the judge made Venables the subject of an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and ordered his laptop be confiscated.

He said the Parole Board would decide when Venables would be released.

The judge said he had received a request to delay sentencing so Mr Bulger could make a victim impact statement.

'High risk '

But, in deciding to sentence straight away, Mr Justice Edis said: "I know already how it must be for them when that tragic event is once more brought into the public domain into court and so on because of the offending of one of the killers."

"I do not think there is very much more that can be said to me that I do not already know that could have an effect on the sentencing process," he said.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Jon Venables, who has lifelong anonymity, appeared by videolink at the Old Bailey

A report found Venables was a "high risk of real harm to children" in the future, the court was told.

It states that he has a "long-term and profound interest in children".

The court also heard that as he was being taken to a police station, Venables admitted he had "let people down".

He said: "This is my own fault. I have let people down again."

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