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Jon Venables is getting paroled.

(140 Posts)
BOF Thu 04-Jul-13 18:11:47

Denise Fergus is understandably devastated. I was surprised not to notice a thread on this yet- what do people think?

pumpkinsweetie Mon 22-Jul-13 17:10:39

Whatever he is, he needs locking up.
And he needs to stay there

bottleofbeer Mon 22-Jul-13 17:13:10

Not going to happen though. Although tbf it wouldn't surprise me if he ends up banged up again, and again, and again.

middleclassdystopia Mon 22-Jul-13 22:50:07

I agree with Maryz, he is self destructing.

I don't think they stood a chance of rehabilitation given they were locked up and tried as adults essentially. Rarely is it considered that their parents were culpable. Wasn't one of them allowed to watch violent pornography from a young age?

Shame on anyone who thinks hanging children is civilised.

bottleofbeer Mon 22-Jul-13 22:57:44

The adult trial was to appease the public and was utterly ridiculous. They were assessed by psychiatrists who diagnosed them both with PTSD but by law they weren't allowed any therapy until after the verdict.

If two kids were ever crying out for immediate intervention...

fromparistoberlin Tue 23-Jul-13 11:22:58

I genuinely dont know, we have to trust the authorities that if he is released they will exercise the vigilence required

It suspect they are damaged beyong repair, and were damaged when they committed the murder

I suspect they cannot be rehabilitated, and that frankly within months he will do something and be sent back to prison

I dont think its helpful for Denise and Ralph to have this all over the media. Their emotions are 100000000000000000% understandable, but are purely emotional and I feel so sad for them this is getting raked up again

I wish he (JV) would commit suicide to be honest, he will never have a normal life and its going to be endless shit raking

sorry, but I do

lottieandmia Tue 23-Jul-13 11:28:20

Robert Thompson's rehabilitation was said to have been much more successful than that of Venables. Therefore I don't see why people are saying he should never have been released.

bottleofbeer Tue 23-Jul-13 13:01:12

There's a book called The Sleep of Reason about the case.

RT was for some reason always just assumed to be the dominant force in the murder. There actually isn't much to back that assumption up other than his upbringing was more obviously abusive. In a lot of ways JV's was just as abusive. The author (David James Smith) puts forward a good case for the more violent and disturbed one actually being JV.

In fact school reports paint him as the most disruptive and had the more concerning behaviour, months before the murder took place. He'd been recorded as holding a ruler against another child's throat very aggressively and it took two teachers to pull him off. He banged his head against walls. He hid under desks and refused to come out. He'd walk around classrooms with his arms out, ripping work off the walls. By comparison RT seems to have been quite normal; bit of a scally but if anything was considered a bit girly and feminine. No real violence recorded.

I think it was pure media invention because he'd had the more overtly abusive background, his family were known to the police, it was a one parent family and he had a skinhead. JV had been much more easily broken down in interviews than RT and RT had been quite defiant but it doesn't automatically follow the RT was the leader and JV the willing sheep participant.

dotnet Tue 23-Jul-13 16:02:39

I'd like to read The Sleep of Reason, bottleofbeer. I do remember either reading an interview or maybe seeing on television a senior police officer involved in the case expressing amazement that Robert Thompson was the one who seems to have turned his life around. That police officer saw JT as much more demonic than John Venables, definitely the leader of the two.
It seems that the regime meted out to the boys was more assiduous, more intense, than any other equally ill brought up/deprived child who had committed a lesser crime would have had. So Thompson and Venables had better care and more intensive rehabilitation than the usual. Success rate: 50 per cent, it seems (if Robert Thompson really has changed as it seems he has).
I don't know what we are supposed to make of all this. But I have heard that a VERY famous chain of rehab clinics working in mental health, drug addiction & alcoholism also achieves only a 50% success rate.
Some problems are just intractable I suppose. How sickening that John Venables didn't seize with both hands the chance to make good.

lottieandmia Tue 23-Jul-13 17:03:34

There is a disorder called 'Reactive Attachment Disorder' which some children who have been raised in abusive environments have and which Mary Bell was also thought to have had. Perhaps RT and JV also had this? There was a story of an adopted American girl who also had this disorder but her new parents have helped her to recover via therapy.

Of course, none of this excuses what they did or takes away from the pain caused to everyone involved sad But I have trouble believing that RT and JV were born evil.

bottleofbeer Tue 23-Jul-13 17:08:11

I don't think any of the officers involved could ever be impartial about any of it, they were too close to it and they're police officers not psychologists. JV sobbed and cried and asked them to tell James' mum that he was sorry. RT was hard faced about it all and wouldn't admit to anything unless he was caught in a lie and even then would only admit to the bare minimum. That's what's 'demonised' him in the eyes of officers involved. We'll never know who was the more dominant, maybe they were as actively involved as each other but I'm convinced the one who lost the plot and started the violence (that fuelled itself to its horrible outcome) was JV.

So, I'm not very surprised it's been him who reoffended. Since I also believe he was the more disturbed of the two I think a lot of the damage to his whole psyche was done long before the murder. Seemingly undoable damage. Damage done in the formative years 0-3 can be unfixable because it's when your personality is formed, apparently. But that's getting into the nature V nurture debate.

The book is a bit on the expensive side on Amazon but well worth a read smile

bottleofbeer Tue 23-Jul-13 17:09:57

There's no such thing as born evil, babies are a blank slate, it's those around them that help shape them (Jesus, I can't help myself with nature V nurture heh).

It's why it's so important to give our children solid foundations, imo.

Hulababy Tue 23-Jul-13 17:10:13

I have sat on boards determining parole, tagged release, open prison suitability, etc.
The decision is not made lightly. Several people from various agencies are considered. Judgements are made based on many things including their sentences, behaviour and attitude in prison, attendance and participation on rehab courses, criminal history, etc. It takes quite a while to make these decisions, it isn't just decided over a quick cup of coffee.

Lilka Tue 23-Jul-13 17:33:37

No baby is 'born evil' and skills like empathy or not innate (we are programmed to be able to learn it, but adults have to model and teach it in a safe secure home for it to be learned properly)...but babies are not blank slates either. Firstly because like it or not, genes do have a role to play in your innate self, yes it's open to debate how much, but they do indisputably have at least a little influence. Secondly and very importantly, development in utero (especially brain development) can be strongly influenced by the womb environment. For instance, a baby exposed to large amounts of alcohol in utero can get irreversible brain damage, some illegal drugs are linked to sensory issues, and ADHD in childhood etc. You can see babies with different behaviour patterns and fear when they have been exposed to constant yelling and high stress (ie. large amounts of stress hormone) in utero.

Anyway...I came on to say what others have said, that it won't have been a decision taken lightly. I hope that since he has been parolled he is able and willing to go on to live a trouble and crime free life but am not hopeful sad I agree that he is probably self destructing, and even if not, the damage done in childhood is the kind that you often need not only serious therapy to fix, but the insight and the willpower and willingness to change

bottleofbeer Tue 23-Jul-13 20:00:09

Nurture can overcome nature though, it's well documented in cases of psychopaths. Reared properly they don't always pose any danger. In fact they tend to do quite well in life (probably due to their lack of empathy, they have no issues with stepping on toes). Barring mothers who drink excessively and/or take drugs causing organic brain damage; it's my opinion that a baby pretty much is a blank slate to be moulded and shaped. Not that I'm saying in any way at all that children with SN have all got drunk/druggie mothers. Not even close. But in adults with problems it can almost always be traced back to trauma in childhood.

If you think about well documented, diagnosed psychopaths (using psychopaths purely for example's sake) who committed terrible crimes there are always childhood issues. Not one of them off the top of my head had a well balanced, happy, normal childhood.

fromparistoberlin Wed 24-Jul-13 11:19:43

i agree bottle

Its said that people with this nature become CEOs, leaders, motivators etc, I think!!

I also agree with Hula that these decisions are not taken lightly

that said, its a depressing topic and I cant really discuss without my heart thinking. a tale with no hope, and fuck all redemption

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