Ex-lifeguard denies April murder


Former lifeguard Mark Bridger today pleaded not guilty to the abduction and murder of five-year-old April Jones, who went missing in mid-Wales last year.

Mr Bridger, of Mount Pleasant farmhouse in the village of Ceinws, near Machynlleth, will stand trial later this year.

April was last seen playing on her bike on Machynlleth’s Bryn-y-Gog estate, where she lived, on the evening of October 1st.

Mr Bridger was arrested the following day, but the search for April’s body goes on.

April’s parents Coral and Paul Jones were present at Mold Crown Court today as Mr Bridger (46) entered not guilty pleas.

The case sparked an outpouring of support for April’s family, with hundreds of people joining the search.

Mr Justice Griffith-Williams refused an application from the defence to move the trial out of the north Wales area.

Mr Kelly said the defendant was of the belief that his right to a fair trial “would be better served elsewhere”.

But the judge said Mold Crown Court was an appropriate venue for the trial and that he was satisfied the jury system was “more than sufficient” to address any concerns about prejudice to the defendant.

The trial, which is estimated would take around four weeks, was listed to begin on February 25th.