James Bulger killer Jon Venables on child porn charges

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Jon Venables, one of the killers of toddler James Bulger, has been charged with downloading and distributing child pornography, it can be reported today.

Venables is accused of downloading onto his computer 57 indecent photographs of youngsters between February, last year and February this year.



He is also charged with distributing seven indecent images of children between February 1 and 23 this year.



Venables and Robert Thompson were jailed for life for the 1993 murder of two-year-old James, who was led away from a shopping centre in Liverpool by the then ten-year-olds.



They were jailed for life but released on licence in 2001.







But the criminal charges could not be reported until today when a judge at the Old Bailey lifted some reporting restrictions.









Venables, 27, is due to face a plea and case management hearing on July 23 when he is expected to appear by videolink.



Gavin Millar QC, for Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer, told Mr Justice Bean that he would read the charges out for the record.



He said: "A man known as Jon Venables has been charged with two offences."



He said the photographs in the first charge were listed in a schedule.



The second charge related to distributing images through the internet.



He added: "The Crown's case against Mr Venables is that seven images of children were downloaded by him between these dates.



"The use and availability of peer-to-peer software on his computer to download made it possible for - in effect, exposed for acquisition for a finite period for - other internet users to search for photographs to download.



"There is no evidence that anybody did acquire them by that route."



The injunction was imposed by Mr Justice Bean last month.



Venables and Thompson were given new identities, which cannot be revealed, when they were released from jail.