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article imageJon Venables may receive another new ID

By Alexander Baron     May 4, 2011 in Crime
A report on the ongoing case of convicted murderer Jon Venables, and more generally the creation of false identities by the British state.
Convicted murderer Jon Venables is to receive a second new identity when he is released. In March last year, the Ministry of Justice revealed that Venables had been recalled to prison for an unspecified violation of the terms of his licence. Later, he was charged with and pleaded guilty to, downloading and distributing indecent images of children; he appeared in court via a video link, his face being seen only by the judge. It was also revealed that he had previously been cautioned for possessing cocaine.
Although he was jailed for only two years, he could be behind bars for much longer contingent to a decision of the parole board; he is expected to be assessed within the next few months. Venables’ co-defendant in the original murder trial, Robert Thompson, appears to have adapted successfully on his release, and there have been no reliable reports relating to either his whereabouts or his behaviour.
Venables and Thompson were convicted of the murder of James Bulger in 1993, when they were 11.
Venables is one of only four people in Britain who have openly been granted new identities complete with new passports and fake birth certificates. The others are the aforementioned Robert Thompson, Maxine Carr, and Mark Kennedy.
In November 2003, Carr appeared in the dock along with her former lover Ian Huntley, who was tried for and convicted of murdering two ten year old girls, Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman. Although she was not implicated in the Soham Murders, Carr had given the baby-faced Huntley an alibi. She was convicted of perverting the course of justice, and gaoled for three and a half years. On her release, she was granted a new identity protected by a lifelong injunction because of serious concerns for her safety.
The case of Mark Kennedy is far more controversial. Police officer Kennedy worked undercover posing as eco-activist Mark Stone for seven years during which time he was supplied with a false passport and other false documentation. His duplicity came to light after he was arrested along with 113 other people in connection with the activities of Earth First in Nottingham. His activist girlfriend found his real passport, his cover was blown, and he “changed sides” resulting in the collapse of a high profile trial.
All attempts to ascertain the legal basis for the creation of false documents for potentially illegal police activities were rebuffed by the authorities.
More about Jon venables, Mark Kennedy, Mark Stone, false ID, Identity
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