A former inmate who was serving time alongside James Bulger’s murderer, Jon Venables, revealed how he attacked him after bragging about his crime.
James Heap recalls how Venables used to brag to the other inmates at the Red Bank secure unit on Merseyside about killing two-year-old James Bulger.
According to Heap, Venables described the murder of Bulger, which shocked the entire nation back in 1993, as if he was ‘going to the shop’.
Speaking to the Mirror, Heap claimed:
The look on Venables’ face as he laughed about the murder will stay with me forever.
He’s got this mad face when he grins, the most evil little face you’ve ever seen.
That was enough for me – I didn’t want to hear any more of that. It made me want to kill him.
It was in this moment Heap punched Britain’s youngest convicted murderer in the face.
The revelation comes after it was revealed Venables has been sent back to prison for a second time last week, after he was caught with paedophilic images.
Venables, along with accomplice Robert Thompson, was charged with the murder of Bulger. However, due to their age at the time of the murder of the two-year-old and being subsequently charged, both were sent to a secure rehabilitation unit (separate from each other) and given new identities upon their release in 2001
Heap has now added his voice to the growing number of the British public, led by James’ father Ralph Bulger, who demand the High Court release the identity of Venables due to the fact rehabilitation and time in prison have failed to change him for the better.
Heap was only 14-years-old when he set upon 11-year-old Venables after he bragged to his fellow inmates about the brutal murder of Bulger.
A few days later I found out who he was and what he was really in for. I was shocked.
He was playing on a games console when I said to him: ‘Why the hell did you do that to that kid?’
He just laughed. I said ‘What’s so funny?’ But he just kept laughing.
I punched him in the mouth. To laugh about that is just sick. He talked about how he took the kid and how he was too good or too clever for anyone to see him. I remember he said: ‘I done it easy’.
He said it like it was a normal thing to do, like going to buy a newspaper. Like it was easy to him and nothing to him.
It was like it didn’t matter – like he was proud. There wasn’t any remorse on his face, not one bit. No shame, nothing.
It was mental. You’d have to hear him and see the face on him when he was saying it to be able to believe it.
The 39-year-old from Birmingham also revealed how Venables almost died in a second attack two months after punching him:
In the video room and a lad went in, grabbed him from behind and pulled him down. He had hold of him by his neck on the floor and wouldn’t let go.
Venables went purple, he couldn’t breathe and his eyes were popping out.
I was thinking ‘f*cking hell, he’s really doing it.’ Another 20 seconds and I think he’d have gone?
Suddenly one of the staff came walking up the corridor, saw what was going on and pressed the riot bell.
Loads of staff came and started dragging the lad off by his neck. He wouldn’t let go, but in the end they got him off.
Despite the constant threats on his life Venables still refused to show any remorse or compassion towards Bulger or his family, according to Heap.
As well as lying about why he was locked up he would occasionally ‘go after’ younger boys at Red Bank, even going as far to threaten their families.
Heap also exposed how the staff would give Venables preferential treatment, saying:
People think Venables has been punished for his crime, but it wasn’t punishment, it was privileged.
James Bulger’s parents would have been sickened if they’d seen his life in there. They’d be so heartbroken. They’ve got no justice whatsoever. He didn’t serve a sentence, he sat there eating ice cream and jelly, watching videos and laughing his head off while playing computer games.
It was like a holiday camp to him. He was given special treatment and had everything in his room – music, a radio, his Game Boy. He was the only one with one. The rest of us had nothing. It caused a lot of resentment. We all hated him.
One day we got sick of him on his Game Boy and someone smashed it, but the staff got him another one.
You used to have to earn privileges – if you behaved you got a reward like a go on the games console. Not him, he could play whenever he wanted.
If one of us swore at staff we’d get reprimanded, but he’d say anything and just get away with it.
Every day he’d have a fit and kick off shouting: ‘I’m not doing this, I’m not doing that… f*ck off, f*ck off, f*ck off’. But they’d go ‘right Jon, calm down please’ and put him in his room with his Game Boy.
In the video room you had to watch what he wanted or he’d kick off. Staff would say ‘let Jon watch what he wants, he’s younger than you.’
Since going back to prison, inmates across the country have been allegedly sharing images of what Jon Venables looks like today.
The Attorney General’s office released a statement last year saying anyone breaching the anonymity of either Venables or Thompson, as well as on social media, could face prosecution.