Ed Balls Warns On James Bulger Killer Jon Venables Sent Back To Jail On Suspected Child Porn Offences | Sky News

Ed Balls Warns OnJames Bulger Killer Jon Venables Sent Back To Jail On Suspected Child Porn Offences | UK News | Sky News

2:12pm UK, Sunday March 07, 2010

Alison Chung, Sky News Online

The Children’s Secretary has told Sky News the media is getting close to breaking the law over reports about James Bulger’s killer.

The latest claims by the Sunday Mirror are that probation chiefs revoked Jon Venables’ licence because of child pornography allegations.

Justice Secretary Jack Straw will say only that ‘extremely serious allegations’ caused Venables, 27, to be returned to prison last week.

Newspaper speculation about those allegations includes claims of drug use, violence and sex crimes.

The murdered toddler’s family have called for full details of the allegations to be disclosed – but the Government has insisted Venables’ anonymity must be protected.

Ed Balls said some newspapers are getting too close to revealing Venables’ identity which would undermine the integrity of the criminal justice process and could prevent prosecution.

‘If we responded to the desire for people to know the facts in public in a way which ends up prejudicing a legal case, we would look back and think we made very irresponsible decisions,’ he told Sky News.

‘At the same time we will do nothing that would put children or adults at risk, now or in the future.’

Venables was controversially released on life licence in 2001 with a new identity after serving eight years for the toddler’s murder.

James’s mother Denise Fergus believes Venables should lose his anonymity if he is charged with new offences.

Her spokesman Chris Johnson said: ‘If after that, depending on the outcome of the court case, the powers that be decide that he should have some new identity yet again, then we’ll deal with that when we come to it.

‘But she can’t understand why he doesn’t appear in a dock under his own name, if that’s going to be where he ends up.’

Mrs Fergus does not believe Venables should be at liberty and should have served closer to 15 years.

‘In her mind, if there has been an offence committed, it means that that could have been avoided,’ Mr Johnson said.

Mrs Fergus has demanded to know why Venables was put back in jail, and is meeting Mr Straw this week.

She found out about Venables’ recall only on Tuesday, shortly before the news became public.

She told a newspaper that when a probation officer told her she ‘threw question after question at her, but she blocked every one’.

‘My fear was that he’d hurt another child, or any human being,’ she said.

Venables and accomplice Robert Thompson were just 10 when they battered two-year-old James to death in Liverpool 17 years ago.

They were both released on lifelong licence in 2001, requiring them to obey strict conditions such as not contacting each other or returning to the city where James was killed.

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