Despite vowing to prison staff that he would fight the parole rejection, Venables 41, who killed toddler James Bulger in 1993, missed this week’s appeal deadline
Jon Venables will serve at least two more years in jail after missing his chance to appeal a parole board decision to not free him.
The 41-year-old killer of toddler James Bulger was given a deadline of last week to challenge the move but is believed to have been told by lawyers it was a “fruitless exercise”.
James’ mum Denise Fergus told of her delight that Venables will be kept behind bars. The 54-year-old said: “This is the best way to start the year.
“It is huge for us and for other families who could go through what we did if this person was released. To hear that he has now missed the window in which he can appeal, gives us our life back for another two years at least knowing nothing he can do can affect our life or that of others. It allows us space to breathe and to focus on the happiness in our lives.”
The parole board ruled in December Venables was unfit to be released from jail, where he is serving time for possessing child sex abuse images.
Missing his appeal deadline could mean he is never freed as under proposed Parole reform bill changes, the Justice Secretary would be given the final say on whether a dangerous, sexual reoffender would be allowed out.
Denise, who is campaigning for an inquiry into the death of her son in 1993, added: “Two years now gives this government a chance to put their money where their mouth is and get this bill through.”
James was two when murdered by Venables and Robert Thompson, both 10, in Bootle, Merseyside. The pair were ordered to be detained indefinitely in November 1993.
They were released aged 18 in 2001, with new identities.
But Venables was sent back to jail in 2010 and 2017 over the child images.
He was turned down for parole in 2020 having served his minimum 40 months sentence.