Today I Learn… I make a point of learning something new everyday. This is what I learn each day

1, Sep 12, 2010

Never Forget the Parent’s Nightmare of 1993

Filed under: Crime — admin @ 12:03 am

Recently, Jon Venables, one of the killers of James Bulger, found himself under public eyes again as he did in 1993. 17 years ago, 10-year-old Jon Venables became the youngest killer in UK history. He and Robert Thompson abducted and killed 2-year-old James Bulger. The two killers were convicted that year and were sentenced to only 8 years. Both were set free when they hit age 18, under the condition of their license. The license includes, among others, a ban on returning to Merseyside without written permission in specific circumstances.

First of all, under age killers should be treated more severely than this. The severe punishment will serve as a warning to any potential young criminals and should become part of parenting advice so that both parents and the children will be well-versed on the consequence of crime of this nature. A killer should at least become a lifer (lifetime in prison) no matter how young that killer is.

Lastly, parents should never let down their guard even among the seemingly harmless 10-year-old children.


  1. Once again, someone who doesn’t understand the sentencing structure. The boys were NOT sentenced to eight years. They were sentenced to LIFE (or Her Majesty’s Pleasure which is effectively life for juveniles). There is only one sentence for murder – automatic life. The tariff system is a way of saying how much of that sentence should be served in custody. The two killers continue to serve their sentence and will do so the whole of their lives. They were not ‘set free’, they were released under license and with quite strict conditions which are permanent.

    So the killers ARE lifers, no matter what you appear to believe.

    If you are suggesting that ‘life’ should mean a lifetime in prison, I would point out that the only other example we have (Mary Bell) indicates that the risk of these children killing again are slight at the least – probably non-existent. So perhaps a little more knowledge and a little less hysteria might be in order.

    The fear of children that this case threw up is utterly non-sensical. Adults kill children every day and yet they never are subjected to the wave of hatred that greeted these ten year old boys. Boys who yes, did an horrific thing – unthinkably awful but ten year olds nonetheless. It should also be noted that Thompson has not reoffended (despite Denise Fergus claiming that she thinks he has – it is known that he has not). Are you claiming that he too should be locked up and punished again for something he did before he even entered adolescence?

    Thank god our legal system is decided by our educated judiciary and not knee-jerk tabloid reading mobs.

    Comment by Emma — 1, Sep 12, 2010 @ 2:53 am

  2. Thank you for providing more detail on UK legal system.

    The fear of a parent is a solid fear, even if a 10-year-old killer is only one in a million and even if this fear is called “utterly non-sensical.”

    Comment by admin — 1, Sep 12, 2010 @ 9:07 pm

  3. Well done to the above poster for giving a reasoned, sensible and compassionate response.

    Children are more at risk from adults – particularly those caring for them including (I’m afraid dear blogger) mothers. They are NOT generally at risk from ten year old boys.

    And the Bulger killers were treated pretty severely I’d say. Locked up for a good proportion of their childhood, the whole of their adolescence, relased to a world that despises them, having to live a lie and in an advanced state of paranoia.

    I’m always amazed at those who say they care about children yet would have willingly sent two ten year olds down for life or worse – to the gallows. The hypocrisy is astounding.

    I’m bloody glad our system was civilised enough to give them a second chance because to be honest, a world where we incarcerate children for life is not a world in which I wish to live.

    Comment by Steve — 1, Sep 13, 2010 @ 3:39 am

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