The name may ring more than alarm bells in many peoples heads and being as he is once again back in the news, I feel the need to share my opinion. I would like those of you who do not know me, to understand, I am the least judgemental person I know so this blog came as a surprise, even to me.
I was just 18 when the then child, Venables and his accomplice Thompson, lured an innocent child away from his mother in Merseyside. Many have claimed this was not a premeditated killing but the mere fact that they deliberately took the child away from the saftey of his mother, to me, suggests the premeditating factor.
Once liitle James was away, the two boys abused him both physically and sexually, resulting in his death. The death of an innocent child.
This crime shocked the nation at the time and no one could ever forget the grainy images of little James on the CCTV cameras. The last time he was seen alive. Our hearts went out to his parents and the unfounded guilt that Mrs Bulger must have felt. How often do we take our eyes off of our children for a split second?
Venables and Thompson were children themselves at the time and a lot of blame was put on the bad upbringing and parenting that they endured, along with the amount of time they were subjected to inappropriate films and video games. But although factors from our past can contribute to our adult life, can we really blame anyone other than those two children for the acts they committed?
They were tried and found guilty of the heinous crimes they committed and sentenced to prison. This should have been the end of it. But it was not. I remember over the years receiving emails asking me to sign a petition to stop the two being released from prison. I never signed the petitions or forwarded the emails. Why? Because, I believed that these children could perhaps be rehabilitated and show remorse. Don't get me wrong, I did not for one moment believe they should ever be released from prison but being tried as children it was an inevitable outcome.
What saddens me is that these two children were given a new life and identity and allowed to live an anonymous life, to be entitled to an education, a career and to live a life, free of any reprisals. Little James Bulger did not get this chance and his family will never recover from this.
So Venables and Thompson disappeared into a new life and we heard little until just recently when we picked up the newspaper and read that Venables had been recalled due to alleged offenses. At first we were not not privileged with information and left to speculate as to what exactly the offenses could be. Could it simply be a minor charge or was it something so much more sinister?
Sadly, it was one of the worst crimes and although Venables did not participate in any sexual acts against a minor, that we know of, he still actively participated in searching for victims of sexual abuse, some as young as two years old. He still downloaded indecent images. Basically, he still voluntarily chose to be involved in the most depraved of all the crimes imaginable.
So we once again put our faith in the justice system of this country, only to be kicked in the teeth again when we discover that for these crimes, Venables has been sentenced to two years in prison. Now the justice system will argue that this is the maximum sentence allowed but perhaps they should realise that there should not be a rule book that cannot be strayed from.
Perhaps they should have set a precedent this time and locked Venables up for life. Not life meaning 15 years, but life meaning life. But they haven't. So not only has Venables already taken a life literally, he has also contributed to taking the lives of other innocents, maybe not in causing death but by causing misery and suffering for the rest of their lives.
I do not agree with the death penalty which is a totally different blog but I believe this country needs to wise up and realise that some people cannot be rehabilitated and that they will always possess a threat to the public. Venables, it seems, was not a misguided child but a monster through and through. In my opinion, he should never be allowed to walk the streets a free man. But he will and when he does, those of us with children and even those of us without, will never sleep easy, because, like so many other child sex offenders, we still do not know his new identity and when he is released, he could be the man moving into the empty property in yours or my street and we will never know who he is. He will be free to commit more crimes and the biggest kick in the teeth is that there is not one single thing we can do about it.
Until next time, say safe and any mistakes are of my own making.

Tuesday 27th July 2010