Bulger detective: Tell public why killer Venables is back in jail

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The Independent Online

The public should be told what James Bulger killer Jon Venables did to be sent back to jail, the detective who led the murder investigation said today.





Venables, 27, was recalled to prison last week after breaching the terms of his release, the Ministry of Justice said.



The convicted murderer, who was controversially freed under a new identity in 2001, was just 10 when he and Robert Thompson abducted and battered the two-year-old to death in February 1993 in a crime that shocked the world.



James's mother, Denise Fergus, welcomed the news, writing on her Twitter account last night: "would like to let everyone know Jon Venables is were he belongs tonight behind bars is this my sons justice."



Family members said Mrs Fergus remained unaware of the nature of Venables' breach, and the precise details were not released by the Ministry of Justice.



Detective Albert Kirby, who headed the Bulger investigation, said he thought it was unlikely he was recalled for a minor infringement of his licence conditions.



He said there "must have been a build up of incidents" for the action to have been taken and called for the Government to release precise details of why Venables was recalled.



He told Sky News: "I think the statement that came out last night actually raises more questions than it answers.



"They wouldn't - using football parlance - have given him a red card and go to prison for one infringement.



"It would help to clarify and put this to rest once and for all if the public did have some indication of what it is he has done.



"Not where he is or details like that but the reason why his probation has been revoked and he is back inside.



"It's going to be asking the questions why is he there and did the authorities fail in making the assessments of his suitability to come back into society."



Mr Kirby also said the news would have caused "a whole load of anxiety" for Mrs Fergus.



A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said: "We can confirm that Jon Venables has been recalled to custody following a breach of licence conditions.



"Offenders on licence are subject to strict conditions; if they breach those conditions they are subject to immediate recall.



"There is a worldwide injunction in place that prohibits any reporting, including reporting on the internet, that could identify him or his location."



Venables and Thompson, who was also 10, snatched James from a shopping centre and killed him on a railway line on February 13 1993.



The toddler's battered body was found by children playing on a freight railway line 200 yards from Walton Lane police station, Liverpool, more than two miles from the Strand shopping centre.



Both killers were given compulsory life sentences for the murder and remain on licence for the rest of their lives.



Venables will appear before a hearing of the Parole Board within 28 days of being recalled, where the details of the breach will be examined. These hearings are normally not open to the public.