James Bulger’s killer is heard admitting the brutal murder of the toddler in a chilling police interview heard for the first time.
Jon Venables, then aged 10, breaks down beside his mother as a detective questions him about the gruesome crime that shocked the nation.
He abducted and mutilated the two-year-old along with his friend Robert Thompson in Bootle, Merseyside, in 1993.
Venables gets trapped in a web of lies during the interview, as he pleads to both the detective and his mother.
He admits being in the Bootle Strand shopping centre, but says: ‘But we never got a kid mum. We never, we never got a kid.’
The officer then mentions a conversation Venables had with his mother before the interview.
He says: ‘What was it you told us?’
Venables, in tears, replies: ‘That I killed James.’
The interview was played for the killer’s 1993 trial and broadcast for the first time in the Channel 5 documentary James Bulger: The New Revelations.
Venables and Thompson led James away while his mother wasn’t watching.
They took him to a railway line and poured modelling paint into his eyes, stoned him and clubbed him with bricks.
They then dumped his body on a railway line so a train could hit it.
The documentary also revealed how Thompson managed to convince the Parole Board to free him in 2001 by saying he was ‘desperately sorry’ for murdering James.
Thompson, now 36, claimed he was a ‘better person’ after becoming the country’s youngest murderer for 250 years alongside Venables.
He was aged 18 when he told the Parole Board: ‘I do feel aware that I am now a better person and have had a better life and a better education than if I had not committed the murder.
‘There is obviously an irony to this, but it is part of my remorseful feelings as well.
‘I, personally, wish Mr and Mrs Bulger and their families to know that I am desperately sorry for what I did, and aware of the enormity of what I did.
‘Mr and Mrs Bulger have made statements in the press indicating that they would view any statement of remorse by me as a cynical manoeuvre to secure my release.
‘It is difficult, given that, to see how I could ever communicate my remorse in an effective way.’
He then spoke about the horrific murder, telling the Parole Board: ‘Looking back, I very much regret that I did nothing to stop it.
‘I had a strange energy in me where I had to be doing something, getting chased, stealing something, getting into trouble, and Jon Venables with James Bulger was stopping me from doing this.
‘I am deeply ashamed of what I did, of having played a part in this horrible murder.’
He said: ‘My trial was an ordeal. The Judge’s robes included gloves and a black cloth, which I asked my lawyers about, and the answer frightened me.
‘The courtroom was totally packed with reporters, and I felt paralysed by their attention.
‘I didn’t feel it was possible for me to make an admission of my involvement, having seen the public reaction to the crime, and to myself and Jon Venables as the people accused of that crime. I didn’t feel able to give evidence.’
The Parole Board recommended releasing Thompson and Venables on a lifelong licence. They were freed under new identities.