Man in court over murder of April

Five-year-old April Jones went missing in Machynlleth, mid Wales, last Monday

Mark Bridger is accused of abducting and killing Aprill Jones

A man attacks a prison van believed to contain Mark Bridger as it leaves Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court

First published in National News © by

The man accused of murdering missing five-year-old April Jones is due to appear in court.

Former lifeguard Mark Bridger, 46, is accused of abducting and killing April, who was last seen near her home on the Bryn-y-Gog estate in the mid-Wales town of Machynlleth more than a week ago. Bridger also faces charges of unlawfully disposing of and concealing her body with intent to pervert the course of justice.

He will appear at Caernarfon Crown Court after being remanded in custody earlier this week by magistrates in Aberystwyth, when the police van carrying him was attacked and he was sworn at by an angry crowd.

The defendant, who cried when he appeared before magistrates on Monday, will not be present at court. He will appear by videolink from prison in Manchester.

April vanished last Monday night and Bridger was arrested the following day, but the search for her body continues. She had been allowed to play out later than normal as a treat for a glowing school report she received.

The news of April's disappearance saw hundreds of concerned members of the public and well-wishers quickly scramble to help the authorities in the search.

Welsh Secretary David Jones hailed the "tremendous community spirit" of the people of Machynlleth for their tireless efforts to help find April.

But after the initial hunt failed to turn up clues police asked members of the public to stand down as experts from across the emergency services and the RNLI focused on the hunt. They were joined by mountain rescue teams from across the United Kingdom and used a range of state-of-the-art equipment in the painstaking search for April, a cerebral palsy sufferer.

A series of high-profile personalities joined the appeal for information about April's whereabouts including Prime Minister David Cameron, who described her disappearance as "every family's nightmare".

As a sign of solidarity and hope Machynlleth residents responded to April's mother Coral's request to wear pink ribbons. The ribbons, in the girl's favourite colour, were a material sign that nobody had given up hope.

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