Evil child killer Jon Venables could walk free from jail in just a few weeks

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    Evil child murderer Jon Venables could be back on British streets in just a few weeks' time if a parole hearing goes his way.

    Venables, who at the age of 10 was one of two boys to murder two-year-old Jamie Bulger, applied for parole last year ahead of new legislation giving ministers the power to block the release of dangerous criminals for public safety reasons.

    He, alongside accomplice Robert Thompson, was released in 2001 and given a new identity to enable him to live a normal life free from reprisals.

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    But he was jailed again in 2017 after he was found to be in possession of child abuse images. He was denied parole two years ago.

    At the time, the Parole Board said there was still evidence Venables showed an attraction to sexual violence and an adequate justification for keeping him behind bars.

    In March, then-Justice Secretary Dominic Raab announced a package of reforms designed to restore public confidence in the justice system, including a tougher Parole Board release test to ensure prisoners who are still thought to pose a risk are kept behind bars.

    He said at the time: “Through our parole reforms, we will stand up for the rights of victims and make public safety the overriding factor in deciding on parole decisions.

    • Bulger killer Jon Venables' bid for freedom before new law could see his release blocked

    “That’s why we are changing the criteria for release, putting more people with law enforcement experience on Parole Board panels, and adding a Ministerial check on release of the most serious offenders.”

    Now emerged the hearing is taking in just a few weeks' time and a source claimed to The Sun he has a “strong chance” of being released after making “positive progress” while in prison.

    • Jon Venables 'will kill again when he's let out of prison', warns James Bulger's dad

    However, Jamie Bulger's father Ralph slammed the claims and told the newspaper Dominic Raab should keep his word and that “Venables should be top of that list and never see daylight again”.

    He recently said: “If the Justice Secretary is serious on reform then he must allow me to be present at Venables’ parole hearing, just as I was at his Old Bailey hearing."

    The Daily Star has reached out to the UK 's Ministry of Justice for a comment.

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