He appears to be a normal human, but inside the soft flesh there is indestructable metal. Their faces affected me deeply. Thompson and Venables, now both 27 years old, are among only four individuals in the UK whose crimes are so notorious that they have been given lifelong anonymity. portrayed him as the leader and evil one, says James Smith. It is time to examine all this.". 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I didnt, did I? she said to Neil during their interview with Gitta Sereny. Forensic and pathology evidence was a huge challenge for everyone, not least the jury who were shown pictures of James injuries. Security launched a search for James inside the centre and James' family searched for their son overnight. Their. I came back and then (Mrs Venables) went out. One neighbour said she always let him into her home whenever his mother was out. Jon's first year after he was moved was relatively successful. Ann, desperate to escape the physical and emotional torment of living with her drunken father, was married to Robert, Sr. in December 1971, on the day of her eighteenth birthday. He did like to be liked, and loved to have friends, and he has got involved with the wrong person.". A newsroom reporter who was not working on the case fended off transatlantic interview demands, saying that it was not enough that he had a Liverpool accent. By now the Venables were reunited as a result of the court case. He is one of those children that if you told him to put his hand in the fire, he would. ", Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies. But apart from his brother, Robert struggled to build friendships. But he liked collecting trolls, little doll-like creatures with ugly faces and spiky fluorescent hair. Jobs were few and far between. Good people asked the boys if they were lost or urged them to take "their baby brother" home as he cried for his mummy. He said he was frightened of Robert's older brother. Hope. gl. At his first primary school the headmistress referred him to a psychologist, noting how he used to bang his head against the classroom wall to gain attention. Robert had asked once before but Jon, who had rarely truanted in his previous school, was scared and said no. One police officer described how Jon Venables was so small, his legs were swinging. Spidery and messy. Or by navigating to the user icon in the top right. He began telling his father that he believed his parents loved his brother and sister more than they did him, and, at one point, implored his father to send him to school with his siblings. "On the other hand, you are looking at him and you are saying 'Well, I know why - because he is so weak'. as he was known in court - Jon Venables. Twenty-five years on, Im still prone to hot tears at the memory of it all and I do question the trial. Some of the red brick houses were well-kept, others had torn net curtains and grubby windows. Last November he was arrested and recalled to jail on suspicion of possession of images of child sex abuse. eb. WALTON, where they both lived, is, in the jargon of planning, an inner-city urban priority area; neither the best nor the worst the city has to offer. When Robert was asked what his hobby was he did not say trolls but 'skipping school'. He has had security with loving parents and a loving brother and sister.". Look at mine. I have cried for JamesBulgermany times, so God only knows the tears his parents and family have shed. Mrs Venables has also said that she felt heartbreak for James and his parents and shame for her son. In the business world, too many people think it's all about being hard, tough, ambitious, or having grit. Dudson was given a minimum term of 18 years. The James Bulger murder View gallery Venables was born on August 12, 1982. Best of all, they would spend time on the Walton railway line where Robert had built a den close to the bridge. Ironically, Jon was the child who caused his parents least anxiety. A torrent of questions erupted from the moment the grim news came out that James Bulger's body had been found on a railway line in Liverpool and the last people seen with him were two ten-year-olds, captured on grainy CCTV footage. Every day the public gallery was packed with students, pensioners, mothers, teenagers, all drawn to the courtroom spectacle as to a TV soap. 'If, in their own lives, they have had it extremely tough and been bullied and neglected and abused then they end up rapidly having to prove themselves to be extremely tough and invulnerable - a bit like Arnold Shwarzenegger in The Terminator. Jon lived in terror of losing his mother's love, yet he was also terrified of her. As a new documentary is set to air on ITV, the haunting words of Jon Venables' parents have resurfaced. Like Ann Thompson, however, both parents of Jon Venables rallied round their son and in preparationfor his release Mr Venables accom-panied him on trips to football matches. A maudlin ballad about Liverpool was playing in the back- ground and she was cooking the dish known as Scouse. 'I don't know,' he replied. When Jon left home on the morning of Friday, February 12 he was happy because it was the last day of school before a week's holiday and he was going to take some pet gerbils home. Keep them apart or he'll get into trouble, they said. Regrettably, yet perhaps not entirely unforeseen, the cycle of abuse continued. UK news in pictures 15 February 2023. Finally, in 1988, while on a family vacation, the breaking point came, when Big Bobby, then thirty-four, began an adulterous relationship with a friend and neighbor in her fifties. We feel so sorry for him because he must be going through so much torment. The questioning was calm, steady, even playful at the beginning to try to get a sense the two boys really did know the difference between right and wrong. . She spent much of her time at the pub after that, and rarely stayed in for a meal. Forensic and pathology evidence was a huge challenge for everyone, not least the jury who were shown pictures of James' injuries. Ann Thompson and Susan and Neil Venables didn't need to imagine. He was fearful, he was weak and he was provoked," she said. As his killers began their sentences, such was the revulsion that it was already clear their families could not. Englands Ollie Chessum dives in to score his sides second try during the Guinness Six Nations match at Twickenham Stadium, London, Sam Smith arrives for the Brit Awards ceremony, A robin redbreast takes flight in Dublins botanic gardens. One of the new works by Banksy, appears to show a 1950s housewife, wearing a classic blue pinny and yellow washing up gloves, with a swollen eye and a missing tooth seemingly shoving her male partner into a chest freezer, the piece is set on a white wall backdrop in Kent. From the moment Robert Thompson and Jon Venables were convicted of the murder of James Bulger, their, families have been condemned to lives spent looking over their shoulders. Usually, they were slung out. Denise was in court that day. Asked later if he could recall a time when his brother had exhibited any unusually aggressive tendencies, Roberts brother said no: Hes frightened of his own shadow. Nonetheless, in hindsight, its safe to assume that by 1993, ten-year-old Robert was swiftly approaching crisis point., Alarmingly, some of the neighboring children later claimed to have seen Robert behave cruelly towards animals, and pull the heads off of baby pigeons, although this was never unequivocally confirmed. One police officer described how Jon Venables was so small, his legs were swinging in the air as he sat in the custody office. Their age was hard to gauge from the CCTV images, so just when you imagined you couldnt be more shocked by this story, it emerged the two accused were just 10-years-old. ', The closest either boy came to offering an explanation was when Jon was asked by police why he had taken James's shoe off by the railway tracks. They would hang around the video shop in Walton Village where the shop girl was pleased to have their company. She acknowledged her son had committed a terrible crime but claimed that her innocent younger children were being denied a proper education because of having to abandon their homes to escape attacks. 'You'd better tell the truth. His father, thin and balding, had a much gentler edge. Once Robert shared with him a tin of Roses chocolates which he had poured surreptitiously into his coat pocket. The left will make play of social deprivation, unemployment, bad housing and general inner-city rot. TWO BOYS. The distress of one woman who had come agonisingly close to taking James by the hand herself to a police station, only to be hoodwinked by Thompson and Venables that they were doing just that. They would sneak out during the morning break, hiding behind a wall before the coast was clear. I wonder how many parents looked at their sons of a similar age that week, sure in the knowledge their own children could never be so wicked, but asked themselves anyway "what would I do if?". Some neighbours claim they saw the boy snaring birds into traps in the back yard of his home, while one local youth claimed he saw the boy pull the heads off live baby pigeons. It is just heartbreaking.". Jon was also mad on computers. Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, both 10, murdered him in cold blood. "It was very dark and I shouted down, shouted his name. 'When the fisticuffs ended, they made friends.' On November 24, 1993, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables became the youngest persons to be convicted of murder in Britain in almost 250 years, when the pair, both eleven, was found guilty of the abduction and murder of two-year-old James Patrick Bulger. The parents of James Bulgers killers have also come to learn that the consequences of that terrible day will stay with them for ever too. Susan was known as the town " whore". 'I didn't know it would be like this,' Mr Venables said with hindsight. Once the jury retired, so did the journalists - but we didnt go far. My young body must have been tense with the deep anxiety that permeated every inch of that courtroom. Anne Thompson could hold her drink and no one ever saw her staggering home. "Contrary to what the papers will tell you, he is not a little urchin boy. 'I couldn't hear anything,' she said. At Radio City in Liverpool the calls were coming through from Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Our feelings haven't changed towards him. They went on family outings together, slept together, and when Susan did find a place, virtually coexisted between the two homes. In March 2010, Venables was recalled to prison for downloading and distributing more than 100 images of child abuse. When shop keepers asked what they were doing they would pretend they were waiting for their mum. The bleached houses were peppered with burglar alarms, the shabby ones did not look worth the trouble. Sitting in the new class was a chubby boy with a cherub's face - Robert Thompson. Among the list were several horror films, including one video in which the police took special interest: Child's Play 3, a film which carries the line 'Children are consumer trainees'. Robert always wanted to stay out late and encouraged Jon to join him. They sat just feet from me, perched on the edge of their wooden seat, smartly dressed and hunched in shame just below their son, Jon. "He is easily led. Their kids have got everything, she added, bitterly. Members of the Up Helly Aa 'Jarl Squad' parade through the streets in Lerwick, Shetland Islands, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon using a camera during her visit to BBC Studioworks in Glasgow, Passersby chat with the police as they arrive to see King Charles III and the Princess Royal attend a church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, People at a vigil at Lurgan Park in Lurgan, Co Armagh in memory of murder victim Natalie McNally and opposing violence against women, Firefighters use hoses to dampen down at the scene of a fire at St Marks Church in Hamilton Terrace, St Johns Wood, London, which has been destroyed by the blaze which began in the early hours of the morning, Huskies pull their musher during a training run before this weekends annual Aviemore Sled Dog Rally, in Feshiebridge, A knitted topper celebrating Burns Night placed on a post box in Alloway, Ayrshire, Deer graze during sunrise at Ashton Court Estate, Bristol, where clear misty skies and a cold morning brings frost across parts of the south west UK, Ambulance workers on the picket line outside the Donnington Ambulance Hub, at Donnington, near Telford, Shropshire. In the autumn term of 1992, Robert played truant for 49 half days and Jon for 40. I'm warning yer,' she would say. The atmosphere in the courtroom was oppressive as the tension of a month was about to break. They said their son met Robert Thompson in September 1991, when Jon was transferred from another school. Robert's mother agreed with her son's assessment: 'Name one family in the area who would have a good word for us.'. He had been quiet that weekend, they said, but they had thought that was because his mother had taken him to the police station on the Friday evening for playing truant. 'America is the land of shopping malls. You know, we just try and help him as best we can to try to come to terms with things. Their parents entered the courtroom; The Venables arrived together, Ann Thompson came with supporters but no sign of Robert's father. Given the Venables family history, it was later suggested that Jon could arguably have been affected by an undiagnosed disorder at the time, and was clearly emotionally underdeveloped. The best instincts led hundreds, including me, to lay flowers a few days later at the site of James horrific end. The appearance in court this week of Venables, now a 35-year-old man, on charges of possessing indecent images of children, was a jarring reminder that, still a quarter of a century on, his rehabilitation is more an ambition than a reality. His mother, Anne Marie Thompson, who is 39, got the house from the local housing trust after her husband, Robert, ran off with a woman from Stockport five years ago. When a police officer asked him why he didn't rescue James bleeding on the railway lines he replied: ' 'Cos blood stains, doesn't it, and then me mother would have to pay more money. Will you tell his mum I'm sorry?". Reporters from around the world ended up in the drab streets of Walton, cadging interviews off any 10-year-old boys hanging around in the streets. His mother, Susan, attributed this behavior with peer pressure and hyperactivity, and put him on a special diet, though it did nothing to quell his frequent emotional outbursts. March 10, 2021 - 20:29 GMT Eve Crosbie. Susan and neil venables. They looked, moved, fidgeted, scratched, cried - even sucked their thumbs - just like any 11-year-olds. They passed 36 people, with one recalling how they urged the boys to take their 'little brother' home because he was 'crying for his mummy'. He was always getting prizes for maths at school. They deal with drugs, they deal with everything. The documentary on the James Bulger murder case sparked anger after viewers criticised the Channel 4 show for "sympathising" with the toddler's killers. That was in September 1991, 17 months before they killed James Bulger. Just as Venables's confession convicted him, a shoe print belonging to Robert Thompson, found on James cheekbone, confirmed his guilt, too. They did. Yet, even while Susan admitted to being under huge emotional strain on a daily basis, the couple later denied that her constant hysterics would have encroached on Jon in any way, considering he was still in infancy at the time. They hid his body under bricks so that the first train to come along cut his body in two, but he was already dead before this happened. "He fell over," was the response. Neston Town Council unveil plans for Good Friday Easter Market, Drivers at risk of a 1,000 fine for these simple number plate mistakes, Trip Advisor: Six best Chinese restaurants in Wirral, 'Pubs need to adapt' if they are going to survive the times ahead, Birchwood company donates huge 45,000 to children's hospice, Series of strict conditions placed on dog after Widnes attack, Xi Jinping's power grab - and why it matters, Street fighting in Bakhmut but Russia not in control, Saving Private Ryan actor Tom Sizemore dies at 61, The children left behind in Cuba's mass exodus, Snow, Fire and Lights: Photos of the Week. "What he's done is wrong so he needs to be punished. Guilty of abducting and murdering James PatrickBulger. Born on August 13th, 1982, Jon was the middle child of Neil and Susan Venables. It worked. Friday 12th February 1993. For me, though, it is Susan and Neil Venables who stay most in my memory of that day. 'I walked round for a couple of hours trying to find them. I am providing this page for those who are interested in learning more about the lives of these boys prior to their offense. 'I thought he was all right,' said Boy B, as he was known in court - Jon Venables. . Less thanfive hours laterthe verdicts were in. Thompson was inscrutable in the dock as we heard his voice for the first time. The fathers of both Robert and Jon were without work. This time we came together in shock and disbelief. A pathologist later said that there were so many injuries - 42 in total - that not one could be isolated as causing the little boy's fatal wound. Lock him in it.'. According to the teacher, Jon would rock back and forth in his desk, making strange noises (this behavior was later speculated to be Jons jealous attempt to emulate his elder brother, in order to receive the same special attention), bang his head on the desk or walls repeatedly, glue bits of paper all over his face, wedge himself in between desks, throw himself on the ground, throw chairs across the corridor, rip projects off the classroom walls, cut holes in his socks, and intentionally cut himself with scissors. Jon's parents said they talked to their son about James after he was arrested, but had to stop. James smith (16 March 1990 [2] - 12 February 1993) was a two-year-old boy from Kirkby, Merseyside, England, who was abducted, tortured, and murdered by two 10-year-old boys, Robert Thompson (born 23 August 1982) and Jon Venables (born 13 August 1982), on 12 February 1993. Thompson admitted nothing. In March 2010, Venables was recalled to prison for downloading and distributing more than 100 images of child abuse. He was too scared to be naughty on his own. They pair was ordered to be detained at her majesty's pleasure - meaning indefinitely - but in 2001, a six-month review by the parole board found they were no longer a threat to public safety and they were released on life licence after serving just eight years. He would go to bed. Susan Venables, mother of Jon - referred to throughout the trial as Boy B - blamed her son's 'weakness' for the murder of James Bulger, . What doing well means is anybodys guess. . Born 10 days apart in August 1982 in Liverpool. James mother Denise Fergus has been saying this for a long time, but still we hoped that the boy who savaged a tiny child to death could become a man safe to be in our midst. When they finally came to a disused railway track near the police station, the murderous duo tortured James, throwing stones and bricks at the baby, and kicking and stamping on him before finally dropping a heavy iron bar on to the defenceless tot. leanne nesbitt obituary,
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