Jones accused remanded
A man has been in court in Wales today charged with the abduction and murder of missing five-year-old schoolgirl April Jones.
Former lifeguard and local man Mark Bridger (46) arrived at Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court at 9.20am. Mr Bridger stood in the dock a short while later as the charges were put to him.
He was remanded in custody and will next appear at Caernarfon Crown Court on Wednesday.
As well as the charges related to abduction and murder, Mr Bridger is charged with the unlawful disposal and concealment of April's body with intent to pervert the course of justice.
Mr Bridger cried to himself as he spoke to confirm his name, age and address.
He also confirmed he understood the charges. The accused appeared on the verge of tears throughout the hearing, which lasted about four minutes.
There were angry scenes outside the court as the van carrying the prisoner arrived for today’s hearing.
Mr Bridger was arrested last Tuesday, a day after the schoolgirl disappeared.
Hundreds of people turned out to pay their respects yesterday as an emotional service for the missing girl took place through the Welsh town of Machynlleth.
Hundreds gathered at the Bryn-y-Gog estate from which April was abducted last Monday evening. With crowds wearing pink ribbons symbolising the faith many still have that the little girl is still alive, the procession moved in subdued silence through the town.
Roads along the route were closed off as the sombre gathering inched its way slowly to St Peter’s Church in the heart of the mid-Wales market town.
The schoolgirl’s abduction has shaken the small community to its core. The service yesterday was seen as the start of a process aimed at healing the community.
Speaking before yesterday’s ceremony, Rev Kathleen Rogers said: “The realisation is coming on since yesterday when we heard murder – that has hit home.” Inside the church, Rev Rogers addressed the congregation as she offered prayers for April’s parents Coral (40) and Paul (44), who did not attend the ceremony.
She said: “We cannot bring little April, our sweet and innocent little girl, home as we had hoped. But our hope has now been moved on to sure and certain hope that she is in the arms of Jesus.
“Coral and Paul may not be with us this morning but we hold them very close in our hearts as we pray for them.”
April, who has cerebral palsy, was playing out late on her bicycle as a treat for a glowing school report when she disappeared on Monday evening.