Accused in April Jones murder case made up car accident story, prosecution tells court

A court artist drawing of Mark Bridger in the dock at Mold Crown Court. Drawing/Photograph: Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire

A court artist drawing of Mark Bridger in the dock at Mold Crown Court. Drawing/Photograph: Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire


The former abattoir worker accused of murdering schoolgirl April Jones made up a “story” that he had killed her in a car accident in a bid to “explain away” his role in the killing, a court heard today.

Mark Bridger (47) is accused of murdering the five-year-old after he abducted her as she played outside her home in Machynlleth, mid-Wales, on October 1st last year. April’s body has never been found.

On the second day of the prosecution opening, Elwen Evans QC told the jury of Bridger’s explanation when he was arrested on October 2nd, which included him wanting to “say sorry” to April’s family.

The court heard he was seen carrying a “black bin bag” as he walked on a field close to his house the morning after April went missing, and how he denied to police he had a “sexual interest” in children.

But he admitted he had an interest in child murder cases which saw him research the James Bulger case and that of Ted Bundy the American serial killer.

Ms Evans said Bridger told arresting officers: “It was an accident. I crushed her with the car. I don’t know where she is.”

Bridger claimed he had been searching for April “all night on foot” because he could not remember what he had done with her.

“I didn’t abduct her. I did my best to revive her. I panicked,” he said. “I just wish I knew what I had done with her, where I have put her.

No pulse, no breath
“I need to say sorry to her family. I can’t believe I didn’t just call an ambulance or the police, he continued. “My intention was to head to the hospital. There was no life in her. No pulse. No breath. No response in her eyes. She was just on the seat. I tried to revive her.” He said: “I wouldn’t have dumped her. She is a human being. I wouldn’t have done that.”

Bridger said that when he saw April “under his car” that “she had gone a funny colour” and “was only a little thing”.

Ms Evans said Bridger’s account was a lie. She showed the jury forensic analysis images of Bridger’s clothing, car and home. Pointing to the car photographs, she said: “There is no evidence of a road collision, no evidence of blood here, torn fabric, or indication April Jones had been hit or run over.”

The court heard that three witnesses saw Bridger carrying a black bin bag in a field near his home the morning after April’s disappearance.

Earlier the jury was told that on the afternoon before April disappeared, the defendant viewed a pornographic cartoon of a young girl gagged and restrained as she was being raped, Ms Evans said. He also looked at other indecent images of children and carried out trawls on Facebook for pictures of local young girls.

Forensic searches found bloodstains in various locations in Bridger’s house, including the hallway carpet, a washing machine in the bathroom and in the living room.

Ms Evans said there was a “one in a billion” match to April’s DNA and the defence accepted it was the young girl’s blood. – (AP)