United Kingdom toddler killer admits having child abuse images

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Jon Venables, who was given lifelong anonymity with a new identity when he was released on licence in 2001, has been jailed after admitting possessing more than 1,000 indecent images of children and a paedophile manual.

In July 2010, he pleaded guilty to one count of making 57 indecent images of children and two counts of distributing indecent images of children.

Venables admitted having 392 category A images, 148 category B and 630 category C pictures.

Venables and his classmate Robert Thompson, then both aged 10, brutally murdered two-year-old James in Bootle, Liverpool in 1993.

He served eight years for murder before being released on licence in 2001 with a new identity and granted lifelong anonymity.

Bulger's father Ralph and mother Denise Fergus were in court to hear the guilty plea.

But what shocked detectives more than the vile imagery found on the device was a "paedophile manual", which described, in detail, unthinkable concepts such as how to "safely" have sex with a child.

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

He added: "Thinking to the future, if Venables is ever paroled then we think the handling of that parole needs to be entirely unique, because of the unique handling of this case".

Sentencing him to 40 months in prison for a string of child pornography offences, Mr Justice Edis told him "some of them [the images] were babies". "That was a crime which revolted the nation and which continues to do so even after the 25 years that has passed since it happened", ITV reported.


Some thought the sentence was gravely inadequate, with Justice for James Campaign's Chris Johnson telling the BBC: "The length of the sentence is too short".

She told Sir Trevor McDonald: "I never said "lock them up and throw away the key".

He said the images of abuse he downloaded were "heartbreaking for any ordinary person to see this kind of material".

He added how it was significant, given Venables' background, that numerous images were of crimes against young boys.

"The use of that word in that document reveals the cynical brutality of its author".

He told Venables that, as a consumer of these "products of barbarous evil", he in turn caused it to happen.

The judge added that the offences Venables committed while on licence showed he was a "manipulative and dishonest" man.

The judge ordered Venables' laptop to be confiscated and made him the subject of an indefinite sexual harm prevention order, according to the BBC.

But Edward Fitzgerald QC, representing Venables, said he still had the "capacity for good and the capacity for change".

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