Jon Venables jailed for owning 'paedophile manual' and a thousand indecent images of children

Jon Venables, who tortured and killed two-year-old James Bulger in Liverpool in 1993 when he was 10. PA
Jon Venables, who tortured and killed two-year-old James Bulger in Liverpool in 1993 when he was 10. PA
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One of toddler James Bulger's killers has admitted having more than a thousand indecent images of children.

Venables, who was released on licence in 2001 after serving eight years for the murder of two-year-old James, was returned to prison last November after he was caught with the pictures.

He pleaded guilty on Wednesday morning to having indecent images of children and having a paedophile manual.

He has now been jailed for 40 months.

Read more: What the judge said to Jon Venables as he sent him to jail - in full

James's mother Denise Fergus and father Ralph Bulger were in court to hear the latest guilty pleas.

Venables and his friend Robert Thompson, tortured and killed James in Liverpool in 1993 when they were both aged 10.

They were granted lifelong anonymity with new identities when they were freed on licence.

At a hearing at the Old Bailey, the defendant, referred to as AB, pleaded guilty to four counts.

He admitted having 392 category A images, 148 category B and 630 category C pictures.

He also pleaded guilty to having a paedophile manual on or before November 17 last year.

Read more: Mother of James Bulger says son's killers were 'rewarded' for their horrific crime

Venables, who has lifelong anonymity, pleaded guilty via video link from custody.

Prosecutor Louis Mably QC told the court how Venables' was computer seized in November last year.

Officers uncovered images of children mainly aged between six and 13, although some were younger.

They found a paedophile manual entitled the "Jazz Guide" aimed at teaching how to have sex with children "safely".

As he was being taken to a police station, the court heard that Venables admitted he had "let people down".

He said: "This is my own fault. I have let people down again.

"I have had stupid urges, inquisitive. I'm not going to be seeing this for a lot of years.

"It's not going to be a slap on the wrist for me."

Mr Justice Edis said he had received a request to delay sentencing so James Bulger's father could make a victim impact statement.

But in deciding to sentence straight away, he said: "I know the impact on these two people of what happened when their child was killed.

"I know already how it must be for them when that tragic event is once more brought into the public domain into court and so on because of the offending of one of the killers.

"I do not think there is very much more that can be said to me that I do not already know that could have an effect on the sentencing process."

Mr Justice Edis said he would sentence at 11.30am.

Sentencing, Mr Justice Edis told Jon Venables his was a "unique" case.

He said: "This case is unique because when you were 10 years old you took part in the brutal murder and torture of James Bulger. That was a crime which revolted the nation and which continues to do so even after the 25 years that has passed since it happened.

"The facts of what you did are notorious and there is no need for me to repeat them here."

He said the images of abuse he downloaded were "heartbreaking for any ordinary person to see this kind of material".

Given his background it was significant that a number of the images were of crimes against young boys, he said.

The judge described the manual as a "vile document" and revealed the cynical barbarity of its author.

He told Venables that, as a consumer of these "products of barbarous evil", he in turn caused it to happen.

He said the offences while on licence showed him as a "manipulative and dishonest" man.

He added: "Your offences went back some months and required some ingenuity to keep it hidden."

Mr Justice Edis made Venables the subject of an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and ordered that his laptop be taken away.

He said the Parole Board would decide when Venables would be released.

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