James Bulger killer Jon Venables' drink, drugs and child porn lifestyle 'could have been prevented', says report THE authorities could have done more to stop one of James Bulger’s killers descending into a life of drugs and lawlessness according to a review published today.
But a probation chief said watching over Jon Venables permanently would have been “extremely expensive and implausible”.
And so the child killer, now 27, was allowed to drink heavily, come into Liverpool, take drugs and build up a stash of vile images while living a sick double life posing online as a Merseyside housewife who was prepared to sell her daughter to a paedophile.
Today’s report was ordered after Venables was jailed for two years this summer for a string of child porn offences.
Supposedly one of the most watched men in Britain following his release in 2001 Venables enjoyed boozy nights out, was caught with drugs and was busted by police after a street fight.
But no one person was censored in today’s report delivered to the House of Commons by Justice Secretary Ken Clarke.
Instead the organisations supposed to keeping a close eye on Venables were told lessons had to be learned.
But James’ mum, Denise Fergus, has previously questioned why he wasn’t recalled to prison after previously being arrested twice while out on licence.
Instead of facing severe punishment for a brawl and being caught with cocaine Venables was merely warned by his probation officer about his behaviour.
The report says that Venables – who murdered two-year-old James with Robert Thompson when they were just 10 – could have been given more therapy and more help to enhance his employment prospects after being released from jail with a new identity.
Assistant general secretary of the probation union Napo Harry Fletcher said: “Supervision of Jon Venables was extremely difficult because of his notoriety and the need for tight security.
“The only way that his drinking, his trips to Liverpool and his accumulation of child pornography could have been prevented would have been through 24-hour surveillance which would have been extremely expensive and implausible.
“There are a number of criticisms that are made with the benefit of hindsight.
“For example, he could have received more therapy and more could have been done to enhance his employment prospects.
“But because of the sensitive nature of the case, supervision was always going to be difficult,” Mr Fletcher added. THE ECHO