Public unwilling to forgive Jon Venables

March 16, 2010, 12:31 AM GMT+0

The British public are unwilling to forgive Jon Venables, one of the two delinquent killers of toddler Jamie Bulger, a survey undertaken for The Sun suggests.

Venables, now 27, and who was ten at the time of Jamie’s murder, recently returned to prison after violating the terms of his parole, inciting a media frenzy and much public anger over Justice Secretary Jack Straw’s decision not to publish the details of the breach of parole.

The public’s negative sentiment over the nondisclosure of information regarding Venables’s return to prison is well represented in the survey, as a significant 73% of British adults stated that this information should be made public. The Justice Secretary, however, maintains that any revelations regarding Mr. Venables’ return to prison would serve to threaten the fairness of any future trial he may have. There are many (67%), however, who believe that Venables should never have been released from prison in the first place. Straw recently came under scrutiny for ‘letting slip’ on BBC Radio 4 that the allegations surrounding Venables’s re-incarceration, which suggest that he has committed child pornography offences, are correct.

One may argue that it is the right of any UK citizen to have a free and fair trial, as stipulated in Article Six of the European Convention of Human Rights, and globally, in Article Ten of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But despite these supposed universally-agreed safeguards to human wellbeing, 62% of respondents think that by murdering Jamie Bulger, Jon Venables lost any such claim to such rights. 53% also believe that, should Venables be brought to trial, his real name and not his new identity should be used because ‘ is important for the public to know the truth’.

With such significant numbers taking a hard line towards Venables and given the furore surrounding his return to prison, it seems sure that the Bulger murder will continue to haunt the public’s conscience for a considerable time yet.

For survey details and full results, please click here