Sci-tech

Bulger killer pleads guilty to having indecent images of children

Bulger killer pleads guilty to having indecent images of children

James Bulger's killer Jon Venables has been sentenced to 40 months in prison for having indecent images of children for a second time. I have had stupid urges, inquisitive.

He was also found to be in possession of a so-called paedophile manual which gave instructions of how to "safely" have sex with a child.

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

Venables' release under his new identity went ahead and he is known to have been living independently by March 2002 - some time thereafter beginning a relationship with a woman who had a five-year-old child, although he denies having ever met them.

Venables, 35, trawled the Dark Web for images of babies and young boys being abused in a chilling echo of his infamous crimes, the court heard.

"The work of the IWF has managed to reduce the proportion of these images hosted in the United Kingdom from 18 per cent in 1996 to less than one per cent today but this case only serves to highlight how important the fight against online child sexual abuse images is and how much more there remains to be done", Susie Hargreaves, chief executive at IWF, said. Some 392 of them were in category A, the worst class of image.

Venables, who has lifelong anonymity, pleaded guilty via video link from custody.

"It's not going to be a slap on the wrist for me".

It states that he has a "long-term and profound interest in children". "Three years is really a farce because this is re-offending and there is a pattern to this behaviour".

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His lawyer said: "He lived a relatively normal life where he worked hard for a living".

When he was arrested, he expressed "dismay" and remorse and said he needed help to understand why he did it.

"And to apologise to the family of James Bulger for the renewed distress by his reoffending, and the subsequent publicity".

An undated police photograph of Jon Venables.

"I would ask you do not pass a crushing sentence and deal with him on the basis neither he nor society should give up on his capacity to change".

In a murder that shocked the world, Venables and his friend Robert Thompson, also aged 10, killed and tortured James in Liverpool 25 years ago.

In 2010, Venables was sent back to prison after pleading guilty t charges of downloading and distributing them.

Susie Hargreaves, chief executive of the Internet Watch Foundation, said: "The work of the IWF has managed to reduce the proportion of these images hosted in the United Kingdom from 18% in 1996 to less than 1% today, but this case only serves to highlight how important the fight against online child sexual abuse images is and how much more there remains to be done".

In September 2008, he was arrested on suspicion of affray after a drunken brawl and was given a formal warning by the probation service for breaching the good behaviour terms of his licence.