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#797032 - 30th May 2013 2:13pm Mark Bridger has been found guilty
Willo_ Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 5th Jul 2012
Posts: 2518
Loc: Merseyside
Mark Bridger has been found guilty of the abduction and murder of schoolgirl April Jones.

The five-year-old vanished while playing on her bike near her home on the Bryn y Gog estate in Machynlleth, mid-Wales, on October 1 last year.

Her body has never been found despite the biggest search in British policing History.

A jury of nine women and three men convicted Bridger of abducting and murdering April, and of of unlawfully disposing of and concealing her body with intent to pervert the course of justice.

The 47-year-old former slaughterhouse worker had denied the allegations and claimed he killed the youngster when he accidentally ran over her, but could not remember what he did with the body because he was drunk and panicking.

The jury at Mold Crown Court returned the unanimous verdicts following four hours and six minutes of deliberations.

In the dock, Bridger, wearing a blue shirt and spotted tie, appeared to hold back tears as the guilty verdicts were read out in court.

April's grieving parents, Paul, 41, and Coral, 43, who have attended every day of the month-long trial, looked on from the public gallery.

Mrs Jones wiped tears away from her face as she heard the verdicts, which were met in complete silence.

Bridger confessed that he may have disposed of April's body to a Catholic priest while on remand in Strangeways prison in Manchester, it can be revealed.

Details of his cell-room conversation emerged during legal argument in the trial - but were never heard by the jury.

Bridger was described as a "cold-hearted murderer" who "spun a web of lies and half-truths" to try to get away with his "truly horrific" crime, by prosecutors after the verdicts.

Elwen Evans QC, prosecuting, told the trial Bridger murdered five-year-old April and then played a "cruel game" in an attempt to cover his tracks.

Drops of April's blood and fragments of bone, thought to have come from an adolescent human, were found by forensics officers at Bridger's rented cottage, Mount Pleasant, in Ceinws, Powys. It was visited by the jury in the first week of the trial.

Jurors were told that Bridger was a "fantasist" who had "a clear interest in child pornography and in child murder cases".

He had been watching a brutal rape scene from the 2009 re-make of the slasher film, The Last House on the Left, "not long before" April was murdered, it can be reported for the first time.

The jury was shown indecent images stored on a computer taken from the killer's home.

They included many extreme pictures of naked underage girls being sexually abused, as well as cartoon images featuring "monster sex" with "humanoids" abusing girls.

Bridger was also found to have images of April, her half-sisters, aged 13 and 16, and of the victims of "real-life" crimes including Soham victims Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in a folder labelled "Clothes".

On the day April was abducted, Bridger's girlfriend had ended their relationship and he had tried to ask out three different women on Facebook.

The youngster was playing near her home on the day disappeared with a seven-year-old friend, who told the court she had seen April get into Bridger's Land Rover.

It is believed Bridger, who fathered six children with four different women, lured the schoolgirl into the vehicle with the false offer of a sleepover with his daughter.

"He isn't somebody that had been on our radar," Detective Superintendent Andy John, the senior investigating officer, said.

The next morning, unbeknown to him, Bridger was placed under police surveillance.

He was spotted close to the River Dyfi, which runs through Machynlleth, carrying a plastic bag.

Police arrested him the same day close to the river, while he claimed to have been helping in the search of the missing schoolgirl.

He is expected to be sentenced later at 2pm.

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#797036 - 30th May 2013 2:27pm Re: Mark Bridger has been found guilty [Re: Willo_]
rhoobarb2002 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 13th Aug 2011
Posts: 677
Loc: Wirral
Thankfully another obviously sick person off the streets, although how long fo remains to be seen. It is just heartbreaking that a child paid the ultimate price for it. So sad. frown

As April has not been found, the evidence must have been overwhelming.


Edited by rhoobarb2002 (30th May 2013 2:28pm)

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#797046 - 30th May 2013 3:30pm Re: Mark Bridger has been found guilty [Re: Willo_]
Willo_ Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 5th Jul 2012
Posts: 2518
Loc: Merseyside
Mark Bridger will spend the rest of his life in prison for the abduction and murder of schoolgirl April Jones.

The five-year-old vanished while playing on her bike near her home on the Bryn y Gog estate in Machynlleth, mid-Wales, on October 1 last year.

Her body has never been found despite the biggest search in British policing History.

Bridger was given a whole life sentence by trial judge Mr Justice Griffith Williams after he was convicted by a jury at Mold Crown Court of April's abduction and murder and of perverting the course of justice by unlawfully disposing, destroying or concealing her body.

The 47-year-old stood impassively as sentence was handed down but shook his head when the judge addressed his perverted interest in violent child abuse.

Calling him a "pathological and glib liar", the judge said: "There is no doubt in my mind that you are a paedophile, who has for some time harboured sexual and morbid fantasies about young girls."

The judge added that Bridger had stored on his laptop "not only images of pre-pubescent and pubescent girls but foul pornography of the gross sexual abuse of young children".

Bridger had denied the allegations and claimed he killed the youngster when he accidentally ran over her, but could not remember what he did with the body because he was drunk and panicking.

In his sentencing remarks, the judge said Bridger had abducted April "for a sexual purpose and then murdered her and disposed of her body to hide the evidence of your sexual abuse of her".

He said it could not be inferred from the evidence where he murdered the schoolgirl "but if she was alive when you took her to the house, she died there".

"How you disposed of her body must remain a mystery. It will serve no purpose for me to speculate as to what happened but all the indications are that you burnt at least a part of her in the wood burner," he added.

The judge also said the "grief of April's parents cannot be over-stated" and that without knowledge of what happened to their daughter "her parents will probably never come to terms with their grievous loss".

The jury at Mold Crown Court returned the unanimous verdicts following four hours and six minutes of deliberations.
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#797200 - 31st May 2013 1:51am Re: Mark Bridger has been found guilty [Re: Willo_]
granny Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Jun 2011
Posts: 13483
Loc: Wirral
This, in my heart, is an overwhelmingly sad case.

Poor little April.

Her parents have been so exceptionally brave, and although everything inside them must be broken, I passionately hope, they will one day be be able to rebuild a part of their lives.
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