James Bulger killer Jon Venables 'used sex and pornography to cope', say parole papers

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One of James Bulger's killers, Jon Venables, used pornography and sex "as a means of coping", papers from last month's parole hearing have revealed.

Venables, 38, thinks about sex a lot, has a problem maintaining relationships, feels a "lack of fulfilment in life" and has a "need for excitement", Parole Board documents show.

Venables and Robert Thompson were 10 when they killed the two-year-old in 1993, having snatched him from a shopping centre in Bootle, Merseyside.

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

Venables was sent back to prison in 2010 and 2017 for possessing indecent images of children and by last October had served half of a 40-month sentence.

The Parole Board decided last month that he should not be moved to an open jail and documents explaining the decision were made public on Tuesday.

The papers said: "The risk factors identified at the time of his offending included his sexual interests and an attraction to sexual violence as well as other issues considered relevant but amenable to change.

"Risk factors identified in subsequent reviews include thinking about sex a lot, problems in maintaining relationships, concerns about self-awareness, and his ability to deal with stress.

"Mr Venables had also experienced difficulties relating to employment.

"Features leading up to his offending as an adult included a sense of dissatisfaction and lack of fulfilment in life, a need for excitement, and a tendency to turn to sex or pornography as a means of coping."

The panel judged he was in the right place, or "appropriately located" behind bars "where outstanding levels of risk could be addressed" and should not be recommended for transfer to an open prison.

Venables had used his time in prison usefully, the papers noted, as he had a prison job and was taking courses to address his "propensity for sexual offending".

It weighed up several "protective factors" which may deter him from reoffending, including "level of intelligence", making "constructive use of his time" and having a "motivation for self-reflection".

James's father, Ralph Bulger, lost a bid last year to have information about his son's killer made public, with a judge saying an anonymity order is necessary to stop Venables "being put to death".