I grew up in South Africa in the 80s and I remember a news clip, an image that has stayed with me to this day. It was footage of a woman being necklaced. As she stumbled over with a burning tyre around her neck, people ran up and kicked her. Many years later, I remember seeing news footage of a man being stoned to death, somewhere in Africa. Another horrible image of a huge rock bouncing off a man's skull, other stones finding their mark, as he fell over, approaching death.
The Jon Venables story raises difficult questions, but when I hear the hordes demanding to know his identity, the newsreaders feigning outrage, it is those images of mob justice taken to its natural conclusion, which come to mind.
Lock the dude up in a cold grey cell for the rest of his life, if needs be, but handing him over to the mob is never the right thing to do.