How tip-off led police to catching James Bulger killer Jon Venables 30 years ago | The Sun

KILLER kid Jon Venables will make a bid for freedom today – more than 30 years after murdering two-year-old James Bulger.

But how he and Robert Thompson, both ten, were caught following James's 1993 murder was the result of "intuition" from a local dad.

Alex Radnor-Boulton had worked for an electricity company and knew the area around New Strand Shopping Centre where James was abducted.

He had seen CCTV of the trio coming out of the centre in Bootle, Merseyside, and pondered which routes they may have gone.

He told the Liverpool Echo in 2021: " I knew if he was coming out that exit, if they're going up there they'd want to get off Stanley Road straight away and turn up Park Street.

"And then the other road was just intuition."

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The dad, now in his 70s, told residents who had security cameras to check their footage before deciding to go up to AMEX.

He said: "(By) Some intuition I just thought I wonder if the kids might have walked up here."

Alex noticed "two huge white cameras" outside their premises and asked workers to check the footage.

It turned out the cameras had caught three young people and cops realised they looked "much smaller" than on the shopping centre CCTV.

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He recalled the boss of AMEX ringing him, saying: "'I've got them, the two young lads with the kid on my camera, they're walking up towards Breeze Hill'."

"About three days later he rang me back and he said 'pat yourself on the back they've found him'."

Jim Fitzsimmons, a Merseyside police detective working on the case, said: "That really changed everything.

"When a friend of the Venables family noticed paint on Jon's coat, we'd already opened our minds to the possibility these boys could be as young as 10."

It was on a railway near Breeze Hill where James's tortured and mutilated body was found in February 1993.

In November that year, the pair were found guilty of abducting and murdering James – making them the youngest convicted murderers in Britain for 250 years.

They were both locked up aged just ten and freed at 18.

Both were given new identities and have been given anonymity.

A two-day appeal this week will determine if Venables, now 41, can be released from prison after being locked up for possessing depraved child abuse images.

He has been recalled to jail twice since he was first released.

In 2010, he was caged for three years for possessing indecent images of children.

He returned to jail in November 2017 after more sickening images were found.

He was denied parole in 2020.

Despite this, the killer could be released in just weeks if the parole board give the go-ahead.

Parents Ralph Bulger and Denise Fergus have given statements to the Parole Board on why they think Venables should remain in jail — but are not allowed to attend the hearing.

So Ralph urged other parents to do what they can to keep Venables behind bars.

He said: “This is no longer just about my beautiful boy James.

“This is about every innocent young child just like him who has the right to be protected from the horrors of a monster like Venables.

"I’m begging the ordinary families of this country to make their voice heard today.

“I want them to say no to releasing a violent predatory killer — to make as much noise as possible and to shout loud and clear that Venables must remain behind bars.

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“Go on social media, speak on your local talk radio and TV, write letters, challenge your MPs — do whatever you can to make your voice heard.”

Venables is likely to appear via video link with a blurred face and distorted voice.

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