AMANDA PLATELL: I believe in redemption but Bulger killer is now beyond hope

When little James Bulger’s murderer was convicted in 2010 of downloading and distributing indecent images of children as young as two, James’s father said it was only a matter of time before Jon Venables ‘caves in to his lust’ again.

‘He will always be a danger to children, which is why he must be locked up for life,’ said Ralph Bulger. Seven years on, Venables is back in jail after more hideous images of child abuse were found on his computer.

It was in 1993 that Venables and his accomplice, Robert Thompson, both aged ten, led two-year-old James to a railway track in Merseyside to torture and murder him with unspeakable violence.

Jon Venables: now that he has re-offended yet againhow many chances should this child killer be given?

Jon Venables: now that he has re-offended yet againhow many chances should this child killer be given?

The trial judge said they had committed a crime of ‘unparalleled evil and barbarity’ and sentenced them to be detained until they were no longer deemed a danger to the public. Both were released in 2001 and given new identities.

A chance to create new lives. And while Thompson did just that and settled into his community in the North-West, Venables was arrested in 2008 for affray and cocaine possession. Two years later, Venables pleaded guilty to downloading images of child abuse — only to be given parole in 2013, and handed a second new identity.

Meghan maybe on the move

Meghan Markle has moved to London to be with Prince Harry.

She was seen walking out of a top London beauty salon chaperoned for the cameras by its owner Sarah Chapman, who describes herself as ‘London’s most sought-after facialist’.

She won’t be sought after by Meghan much longer, I imagine.

The one thing the royals treasure above all is absolute discretion — and they can’t stand being used for publicity.

Now that he has re-offended yet again, we surely have to ask: how many chances should this child killer be given?

Let me be clear, I passionately believe in offering everyone who’s broken the law the chance of rehabilitation and redemption. Membership of a civilised society demands that we are duty-bound to help those who want to change for the better.

I have worked with charities which champion prisoner education, and I have seen hardened criminals emerge from jail reformed, full of hope and keen to contribute to society.

Robert Thompson would seem to be a case in point. But where Jon Venables is concerned, there seems to be no hope.

We have already spent 25 years and £5 million trying to rehabilitate him, and giving him anonymity to protect him from the public. Yet after all this time, it is still the public who need protection from Venables.

My fear is that poor James’s dad is right. Venables ‘is and always was a predatory sex killer who will never be changed’. This sick monster, I am sorry to say, should be given no more chances. It is time to lock him up and throw away the key.


The new biographer of Lawrence Of Arabia star Peter O’Toole says that far from being a drunken, womanising hellraiser, he was intelligent, organised and sensitive. Nope, I won’t be buying the book either. Where’s the fun?


Amanda Holden's a real drag again?

Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden turned up at the West End premiere of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie wearing a lurid silver mini-dress, flashing her cleavage and wearing enough slap to make Lily Savage blanch.?

Was she there to celebrate the story of a lad who escaped a deprived Sheffield estate to become a superstar drag queen — or to audition for the title role??

Amanda Holden seen leaving The Apollo Theatre in London wearing silver mini-dress

Amanda Holden seen leaving The Apollo Theatre in London wearing silver mini-dress


Westminster Noticeboard??
Environment Secretary Michael Gove insists that he accepts animals — including invertebrates — feel pain. Of course they do! Just look at those spineless and miserable Tory Remoaners on the backbenches.

The Shadow Chancellor’s economic illiteracy was exposed yet again this week when he was unable to tell an interviewer what Labour’s plans to borrow billions would cost us. Has John McDonnell been taking lessons in sums from the Party’s other maths maestro, Diane Abbott, who famously had a meltdown on live radio when she got her figures hopelessly wrong?

Labour peer Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town warns us not to buy elderly people alcohol for Christmas because it’s bad for them, while Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies says just one glass of wine a day can give you cancer. What a bundle of laughs the festive season must be with those two.


Prince Charles used his visit to the Caribbean to see the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria and lecture us on the perils of global warming. He urges us to walk or cycle instead of using the car. Wouldn’t we take Charles more seriously if he cut down on his use of helicopters, private jets and Bentleys?


How sickening and cowardly for a burglar to attack a decorated D-Day veteran with a hammer after bursting into the frail hero’s home. Jim Booth, 96, is in hospital with life-threatening injuries.?

His attacker is said to be a white, athletic, dark-haired, clean-shaven man in his mid-30s. Not unlike how Mr Booth looked like in his prime, when he was fighting for his country to ensure future generations — including that of this thug — could live in freedom and peace.?


Research shows two thirds of people cannot keep a secret for longer than 20 minutes. As a gossip and friend of mine used to say before yet another scurrilous disclosure: 'I promised I wouldn't repeat this - so I'll only say it once.'


Paul's pale stunt?

You would expect perfect timing from a prize baker.

So no surprises that just as The Great British Bake Off’s Paul Hollywood has a new Channel 4 show to promote, he cooks up fresh headlines by announcing the end of his 20-year marriage.

It’s all about his favourite subject — him!

In Paul Hollywood: A Baker’s Life, his account of his ‘struggle’ to become a multi-millionaire TV star, he fails even to mention his betrayed wife, Alex.

Instead, he complains he was branded a traitor for defecting to C4 after they outbid the BBC for Bake Off, and he felt abandoned by the show’s presenters, Mel and Sue.

A traitor? Abandoned? Words that must be seared on Alex’s heart.


Don't wait Rita

The sisterhood has praised singer Rita Ora, 26, for having her eggs frozen in her early 20s.

She says she wants a big family, but not yet — and her doctor advised: ‘Why don’t you put them away now and you’ll never have to worry about it again.’

Rita Ora says she wants to have a large family and has her eggs frozen in her early 20s

Rita Ora says she wants to have a large family and has her eggs frozen in her early 20s

What hokum. If she wants lots of kids, she should just get on with it in the conventional way.?

More and more women — the numbers have tripled in five years — are postponing motherhood by freezing, yet there’s no guarantee the technique will end in pregnancy.

Figures show that since 2001 only 60 UK babies have been born from the thousands of eggs that have been frozen.

Having children isn’t like buying a handbag, Rita. Putting them off until it suits you could leave you without any at all.


Great to see Ant back at Dec’s side presenting I’m A Celebrity, and how heartening that more than 11 million fans tuned in.?

I was slightly alarmed though, when an insider revealed Ant McPartlin was exercising, eating more healthily and ‘drinking lots less’. Having spent months in rehab for addiction to painkillers and alcohol, should he be drinking at all?


Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch has outraged neighbours with plans to build a grand shed in his back garden which they say is more like a pavilion. Well, he has to have somewhere to store his giant ego.


Uma Thurman has sent a message to her Instagram followers about Harvey Weinstein. She says she hopes he’s suffering for his alleged abuse of women: ‘Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! (Except Harvey . . . I’m glad it’s going slowly — you don’t deserve a bullet.)’

Oh dear, using language like that, she sounds like she’s re-enacting a torture scene from the nasty and gratuitously violent Pulp Fiction or Kill Bill films that made her a star. Both of which she happened to make with Weinstein.


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