Venables downloaded child pornography

Friday 23 July 2010 22.57
Jon Venables - Was given a new identity upon release in 2001
Jon Venables - Was given a new identity upon release in 2001

Jon Venables, one of the killers of James Bulger, has admitted downloading and distributing indecent images of children.

The first offence involved downloading 57 pornographic pictures of youngsters on to his computer between February last year and February this year.

The second involved distributing indecent photographs of children in February this year, while a third involved distributing 42 images in February 2008.

Venables, 27, was jailed for two years for the offences.

He appeared at the Old Bailey by video link from prison. It was the first time he had appeared since being recalled to prison in February.

In an unusual move, he could be seen only by the judge hearing the case.

He and his friend Robert Thompson were ten when they killed two-year-old James Bulger in 1993.

They abducted him from a shopping centre in Bootle, Merseyside, tortured and murdered him.

They were given life sentences but were released on licence in 2001 after being given new identities, which were protected from being made public.

Nothing was known about their new lives until the police investigation into the downloaded images.

Details of why Venables was recalled to prison were banned from being published after a High Court injunction was made on 21 May.

However, it was lifted by Mr Justice Bean on 21 June after an application by the media.

A representative of the UK's Director of Public Prosecutions revealed the charges, which at the time involved 57 downloaded indecent photographs of children and distributing six indecent films and one photograph.

Gavin Millar QC said there was no evidence that anyone else had accessed the pornography through Venables' actions, but he had 'exposed them to acquisition'.

James Bulger's parents Denise Fergus and Ralph Bulger welcomed the decision to hear Venables' case in public.

Mrs Fergus was in court to hear Venables admit the charges.