April accused may have burnt body

Court hears transcripts of Mark Bridger’s police interviews

Coral and Paul Jones, the parents of April Jones arrive at Mold Crown Court where Mark Bridger is charged with abducting and murdering the five-year-old. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Coral and Paul Jones, the parents of April Jones arrive at Mold Crown Court where Mark Bridger is charged with abducting and murdering the five-year-old. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Mon, May 20, 2013, 16:00

The man accused of murdering British schoolgirl April Jones told police that he “could have burnt the body”, a court heard today.

Mark Bridger (47) also said he would have been “lynched” if he had been seen taking the five-year-old out of his car, Mold Crown Court heard.

The jury in Bridger’s trial were hearing transcripts of his police interviews for a third day, read to the court by Paul Hobson, prosecuting, and interviewing officer Detective Constable Louise Thomas.

Mr Hobson also read a statement from detention officer Stephen Carr who said Bridger spoke to him about how he was trying to remember what he had done with April’s body.

Former abattoir worker Bridger says he accidentally killed the youngster when he ran her over and accepts that he must have got rid of her body but cannot remember how it did it due to the fact he was drunk and panicking.

Mr Carr said that Bridger, who was once a firefighter for the London Fire Brigade, told him how he would have “laid her to rest” for the body to be found and that he may have covered it with a tarpaulin sheet.

Mr Carr said: “Then he went on to say that he could have burnt the body but with his firefighter training he informed me that burning flesh smells like pork. He said the flesh would smell and his clothing would smell and that he would remember having set a fire.”

The jury heard that Bridger told an interviewing police officer that he could not remember how he had disposed of April’s body but that he did not think he would have taken her out of the car as someone would have seen him.

Bridger told police: “They would have lynched me. They would have got hold of me.”

But he told the police if he had been seen then it would have “proved then what I want to prove to you. That I crushed her and I gave her as much medical attention as I could.”

April, who had cerebral palsy, vanished while playing on her bike with her best friend near their homes on Machynlleth’s Bryn-Y-Gog estate on October 1st last year.

Bridger, from Ceinws, denies abducting and murdering the schoolgirl in a “sexually motivated” attack.

April’s body was never found despite the biggest search operation in British policing history.

PA