Lifetime probation supervision prescribed for Bulger killers

    The teenage killers of James Bulger are to be freed under
    lifetime probation service supervision.

    Home secretary David Blunkett accepted the recommendation of the
    parole board that Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, now both 18,
    should be released, given new identities and special protection
    until they die. They are now expected to be released shortly.

    The two boys were 10 when they abducted two-year-old James from
    a shopping centre, and killed him on a nearby railway line in
    February 1993.

    In a written Commons answer to George Howarth, the MP for
    James’s parents Ralph Bulger and Denise Fergus, Mr Blunkett said:
    “Thompson and Venables are not free. They will remain on life
    licence for the rest of their lives, and are liable to be recalled
    to custody at anytime if there is any evidence that they present a
    risk to the public.

    “The National Probation Service now has the duty to supervise
    them and to review routinely the risk of re-offending. There are
    grave doubts about whether this duty could be carried out
    effectively without some degree of anonymity. I am assured that
    Thompson and Venables will be kept under very close supervision and
    scrutiny by the Probation Service whose principal aim is to ensure
    the protection of the public.”



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