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James Bulger killer Jon Venables granted parole hearing | James Bulger murder

Jon Venables, one of the killers of James Bulger, has been granted a parole hearing, the Parole Board has said.

James was murdered by the then 10-year-olds Venables and Robert Thompson in 1993 after they snatched the two-year-old from a shopping centre in Bootle, Merseyside.

The pair were jailed for life but released on licence with new identities in 2001.

Venables, 40, was sent back to prison in 2010 and 2017, the latter for possessing indecent images of children, and was turned down for parole in 2020.

A Parole Board spokesperson said: “An oral hearing has been listed for the parole review of Jon Venables and is scheduled to take place in November 2023. Parole Board decisions are solely focused on what risk a prisoner could represent to the public if released and whether that risk is manageable in the community.

“A panel will carefully examine a huge range of evidence, including details of the original crime, and any evidence of behaviour change, as well as explore the harm done and impact the crime has had on the victims.

“Members read and digest hundreds of pages of evidence and reports in the lead up to an oral hearing. Evidence from witnesses including probation officers, psychiatrists and psychologists, officials supervising the offender in prison as well as victim personal statements are then given at the hearing.

“The prisoner and witnesses are then questioned at length during the hearing which often lasts a full day or more. Parole reviews are undertaken thoroughly and with extreme care. Protecting the public is our number one priority.”

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