Bulger father's 'daily nightmare'

The father of James Bulger told a parole board today about the "daily nightmare" of life since his son's murder.





Ralph Bulger was given the opportunity to make a Victim Personal Statement, through his solicitor, to the parole board of Jon Venables, one of two boys convicted of killing the two-year-old.

Speaking outside Liverpool Crown Court, solicitor Robin Makin said: "It's a daily nightmare for all of them. It still is. Things have not really got better."

Mr Makin said his client, who stood next to him outside the court, had been forced to re-live the details of the murder, including the torture and sexual abuse which James suffered at the hands of his killers.

"Ralph had to deal with that situation. It's a very stressful day for Ralph," Mr Makin said.

He added that Mr Bulger had suffered depression, sleep loss, nightmares and post-traumatic stress.

Mr Makin said it had been an "extremely difficult situation" and said the authorities had "done nothing" to help.

The murder had "transformed" Mr Bulger, he said.

"Whereas Jon Venables... in a sense what they have been trying to do is transform him into somebody he really isn't," Mr Makin said.







Venables and Robert Thompson were 10 when they abducted James from a shopping centre in Bootle, Merseyside, in February 1993.

The pair walked the toddler several miles to a railway line in Walton, where they tortured and killed him.

They were convicted of murder and served eight years in prison before being freed and issued with secret new identities.

But Venables was jailed for two years last July after pleading guilty to downloading and distributing indecent images of children.

It was also revealed that he had sex with a woman carer at the secure unit where he was held as a teenager after James's murder.





Mr Makin delivered the Victim Personal Statement via video-link from Liverpool Crown Court to Leeds Crown Court where the parole board is sitting.

He said the "authorities" had shown an "inability to cope" with putting a criminal like Venables back into society in an area adjacent to Merseyside.

The solicitor said: "It was crass and stupid. It was never going to work. Some of these concerns were raised 10 years ago."

He added: "The problem as we see it is this: the authorities, because of their liberal agenda, don't really want to see Jon Venables for the person that he actually is."

He said not enough attention had been paid to the sexual element of the murder and that previous reports were "fundamentally flawed".

Mr Makin likened Venables to a half-bottle of "rotten wine".

"The authorities just don't want to see what is there - the sexual element, how that has undoubtedly scarred Jon Venables all his life and came to manifest itself later on.

"They don't want to see the rotting bit. They just look through the glass at the top and don't deal with it and that's not the way to deal with things."

The parole board now has 10 days to consider its decision.

Denise Fergus, James's mother, did not attend the hearing but made a statement to the parole board in writing.

Mr Bulger was accompanied by his brother, Jimmy, who had to identify the toddler's body 18 years ago.

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