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Parents' fury at killers release

Denise Fergus
Denise Fergus said she is devastated and disgusted at the decision  

LONDON, England -- The mother of murdered toddler James Bulger warns her son's killers -- who are being released in the UK after eight years in custody -- that there will be no hiding place for them.

The two teenagers convicted of killing the two-year-old toddler eight years ago are being released after serving the minimum sentence for a crime described by the trial judge as "unparalleled evil and barbarity."

On Friday evening, details of their whereabouts were revealed on the Internet by a local newspaper, British media reported.

bush The James Bulger Case
  • Case overview
  • Killers' new lives
  • Internet threat
  • Memories of horror
  • Killers and victims
  • Blunkett statement
  • Timeline of events
  From TIME
  • Killer boys grow up
  • Photo essay

  Court rulings
  • 1997: House of Lords
  • 1999: European Court
  • 2000: Lord Chief Justice

  Related sites
  • Justice for James
  • UK Parole Board

  News archive
  • Pleas for restraint
  • Press breach probed
  • Reformers welcome move
  • Parents' fury at release
  • Freedom for killers
  • Killers face hurdle
  • Anger at decision
  • Sentence review due
  • European court ruling


The BBC reported that Britain's attorney general was considering "as a matter of urgency" the information on their location being made public.

The two are protected by a court injunction that prevents media in England and Wales revealing their whereabouts or publishing recent photographs of them. They are to be given new identities.

The mother of James Bulger, Denise Fergus, said earlier: "Thompson and Venables may think they have got off lightly and can hide.

"But I know different. I know no matter where they go, someone out there is waiting."

Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, now both aged 18, were convicted of killing the two-year-old toddler eight years ago.

They are being released after serving the minimum sentence for a crime described by the trial judge as "unparalleled evil and barbarity."

Britain's National Parole Board based its decision primarily on whether the boys presented a risk to the public.

The board stated that Venables and Thompson would be on probation for the rest of their lives, and given new identities and new passports.

The result of parole hearings for Venables and Thompson was made public on Friday by Home Secretary David Blunkett in a House of Commons written answer.

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He said the conditions of the two killers' release meant that either of them could be recalled to custody at any time during the rest of their lives if there was "any evidence that they present a risk to the public."

Speaking from her home in Kirkby, Merseyside, Denise Fergus added: "What can I say? I have fought hard for the past eight years and four months.

"I am disgusted with the government and the Parole Board. Once again they have been sucked in by two devious murderers.

CNN's Richard Quest: Family said to be devastated by the result
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Venables' solicitor Simon Creighton: Parole board applies very strict test
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"James' life was taken in a way that no one could imagine, and for what?

"The murderers have walked away with a life of luxury, have been bought homes, given a bank account and 24 hour protection.

"My question now is, who is going to protect my children? I am now frightened to send my eldest child to school. I too want 24 hour protection on my children.

"For eight years I have kept my dignity. But in the near future I will tell my side of the story and the eight years, four months of hell I have lived."

Reformers welcome killers' release  

CNN Access - interview with killer's solicitor  

Her spokesman Norman Brennan, director of the Victims of Crime Trust, said she was "devastated" at the decision to free Jon Venables and Robert Thompson.

He added: "Denise is absolutely devastated and stunned. There has to be a punishment element for such a crime but all Denise sees is Venables and Thompson being rewarded.

"It has never been about revenge, it's just about a justice denied."

The boys will be given new identities
The boys will be given new identities  

Her solicitor said the Parole Board's decision had condemned her to "a life of looking over her shoulder."

Sean Sexton told the Liverpool Echo: "She has just received a life sentence -- a life of looking over her shoulder all the time when she leaves home, a life where she will be afraid to send her children to school.

"Denise still believes that they remain a danger to the public. She doesn't want any other family to go through what she has had to go through.

"We submitted expert evidence which suggested that at least one, if not both of them, might be suffering from a psychopathic personality disorder.

"I pray to God that we are wrong and the Parole Board have got it right."

Ralph Bulger, the father of James, said he felt frustrated and angry at the Parole Board's decision.

Speaking through his solicitor Robin Makin, he said: "It is just what I expected and I had prepared myself for this.

"I feel angry, frustrated and completely let down by the system."

Makin said of his client: "He is extremely angry, frustrated, feels that the system -- and quite understandably so -- has not had proper regard to his interests, his views, and dealt with the matter in a fair and appropriate way."

• Parole Board

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