One of James Bulger’s killers will remain behind bars after he was denied parole.
The two-year-old was tortured and killed by the men formerly known as Jon Venables and Robert Thompson – who were both aged 10 – after they snatched him from a shopping centre in Bootle, Merseyside, in February 1993.
Thompson and Venables were jailed for life but released on licence with new identities in 2001.
Venables, 36, was sent back to prison in 2010 and 2017 for possessing indecent images of children.
He is currently serving a 40-month sentence and passed the halfway mark in October.
A Parole Board spokesman said: “We can confirm that a panel of the Parole Board did not direct the release of Mr Venables following an assessment of his case.
“Under current legislation Mr Venables will be eligible for a further review within two years. The date of the next review will be set by the Ministry of Justice.”
In August, the murdered child’s mother Denise Fergus urged the Board to deny Venables early release and “finally admit this man is a threat and danger to society”, claiming he had shown “no remorse or any signs of being rehabilitated”.
His father Ralph Bulger told The Mirror he could “rest easy” after the decision, adding: “This is the first time ever that the right decision has been made regarding my son’s killers.
“I am so relieved because I was convinced he was getting out – just as he has done before.”
The decision was made on paper without a hearing, meaning the prisoner is given 28 days to request whether one takes place.
Because of this, details of how the decision was reached will not be published for a month, the Board said.