Man accused of murdering April Jones ‘can’t remember’ what he did with body

Mark Bridger says he accidentally killed five-year-old but was ‘drunk and panicking’

Paul and Coral Jones leave Mold Crown Court, North Wales after the defence in the trial of Mark Bridger who is accused of murdering their five-year-old daughter April. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Paul and Coral Jones leave Mold Crown Court, North Wales after the defence in the trial of Mark Bridger who is accused of murdering their five-year-old daughter April. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Fri, May 24, 2013, 16:41

The man accused of abducting and murdering April Jones in Wales told a jury today he had “no answer” as to what he did with her body.

Mark Bridger (47) was giving evidence for the third day during his trial at Mold Crown Court.

The former slaughterhouse worker claims he accidentally killed the five-year-old when he “crushed” her with his Land Rover but can’t remember what he did with the body because he was drunk and panicking.

In a tense exchange towards the end of his cross-examination by Elwen Evans QC, prosecuting, she put to Bridger that he was lying and had created a “fantasy” to explain April’s death.

Miss Evans said: “Your whole statement about an accident, she was ‘crushed’ or whatever your explanation is, is a lie.”

“No,” Mr Bridger said.

“Or a fabrication or a fantasy,” Miss Evans went on, and again the defendant, wearing spectacles and a blue shirt and tie, said: “No, no”.

Miss Evans told the defendant: “Your actions that night were clearly directed actions.

“Whether you were drunk or not, you knew what you were doing.”

She asked him what he said to April, “to get her into the car” and he replied: “I never spoke to April.”

He denied he had a “sexual interest” in young children.

When she said he had murdered April and hid her body, Mr Bridger replied: “I placed her body somewhere.”

Miss Evans went on: “Somewhere that she has never been found.”

Mr Bridger, from Ceinws, said: “I have no explanation for that.”

The barrister continued: “What did you do with April?”

“I crushed her under my car,” he replied.

Miss Evans pressed him: “And what did you do with April’s body?”

Mr Bridger said: “I don’t know, I don’t know.”

Miss Evans asked him to “take a moment to think about that” and he said: “I have done for the last nine months.”

She said: “And your answer?”

He replied: “I don’t have an answer, I’m sorry.”

April’s parents Coral (43) and Paul (41) have attended each day of the trial, watching events from a public gallery above the court room.

Mrs Jones was reported to have left the room “visibly upset” during Mr Bridger’s evidence today.

Her daughter disappeared as she was playing with a friend near their homes on the Bryn-Y-Gog estate, Machynlleth, Powys, on October 1st last year.

The prosecution say Mr Bridger snatched and murdered her in a sexually motivated attack.

Earlier the trial heard how Mr Bridger viewed images of child pornography on his laptop on the day April went missing and that forensic investigators discovered traces of April’s blood in Mr Bridger’s living room, hall and bathroom.

PA