A media report that Britain is considering sending a child-murderer to Canada is false, the British Justice Ministry said Tuesday.
The news coverage prompted Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer to tweet on Sunday that he found it “disturbing that this pedophile child killer might come to Canada.”
“As prime minister I won’t let him come here. Where does Trudeau stand?” Scheer’s tweet read. “Our country should not be a dumping ground for murderers, terrorists, and perverts.”
The Daily Star, a U.K. tabloid, cited unnamed sources in reporting that Jon Venables, who was 10 years old when he abducted and killed a toddler in 1993, would be sent to Canada because of the high cost of keeping his real identity a secret in Britain. Other British outlets followed suit, relying on the Daily Star’s original story.
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“This story is categorically untrue,” wrote U.K. Ministry of Justice spokesman Richard Mellor, in an emailed statement to The Canadian Press.
In 1993, Venables and Robert Thompson, who was also 10 at the time, abducted two-year-old James Bulger from a shopping centre in northern England and beat him to death.
The pair was convicted of murder and after spending eight years in youth custody were released in 2001 with new identities and a court order protecting their anonymity.
Venables was then convicted on child pornography charges in 2010, reigniting a debate in Britain over whether he should have been released in the first place.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada declined to comment on the case, citing privacy laws. The department said in a statement that it could only provide information on a specific case with consent of the individual involved.
However, the department said that some people are considered “inadmissible” under Canada’s immigration law for various reasons, including having a criminal record or posing a risk to Canada’s security.
Venables is not known to have any particular connection to Canada.
Versions of the story have circulated for years, most recently in June, sometimes including the idea that Venables might go to Australia or New Zealand instead.