Jon Venables To Be Given Second New Identity

"Child killer Jon Venables will be given a new identity at a cost to the taxpayer of £250,000. He was jailed for two years on Friday after admitting downloading pornographic images of toddlers. The killer will be issued with a new birth certificate, national insurance number and other identity documents at a cost of £250,000 when he is released. But a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Justice said it did not accept it was ""inevitable"" he would be given a new identity. She said: ""Such a change of identity is extremely rare and granted only when the police assess that there is clear and credible evidence of a sustained threat to the offender's life on release into the community."" Venables and Robert Thompson were jailed for life in 1993 after they battered and murdered two-year-old James Bulger. They were released on licence in 2001 and both issued with new identities to protect them from vigilantes. Extensive measures were taken to protect the pair from vigilantes and help them lead a normal life but after several years Venables descended into a spiral of cocaine and mephedrone addiction and drunken violence. The 27-year-old appeared via videolink at the Old Bailey under unprecedented secrecy, with only the judge able to see him. After 16 years living in the shadows, just four disembodied words were heard from the killer - answering ""yes"" to his name and pleading ""guilty"" to three charges concerning child pornography. James' mother, Denise Fergus, sat impassively in court wearing a ""Justice for James"" badge as details of the crimes, and Venables' life since release from jail, were read out. She later condemned his sentence as ""simply not enough""."