Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

April accused was 'emotional wreck'

April Jones' body has never been found

The man accused of murdering April Jones was an "emotional wreck" when he was arrested on suspicion of her abduction, a police officer has told a jury.

Mark Bridger allegedly told Pc Philip Saunders: "I know what this is all about," before "confessing" to killing the five-year-old in a car accident, Mold Crown Court was told.

In a conversation with police officers as he was taken to be interviewed, Bridger, 47, allegedly said he "crushed" April with his 4x4 and "there was no life in her, no pulse, no breathing, no response in her eyes".

Former slaughterhouse worker Bridger denies abducting and murdering April as she played near her home in Machynlleth, mid-Wales, on the evening of October 1 last year.

Giving evidence to the jury, Pc Saunders read from the notes he made after he detained Bridger as he walked along the A487 at 3.30pm on the next day.

He said: "I was travelling down the A487 with my sergeant who instructed me that if we saw Mark Bridger, he was to be arrested on suspicion of the abduction of April Jones. At approximately 3.30pm, I saw a male who matched his description. I stopped the car and asked him what his name was. He confirmed to me he was Mark Bridger and at that point I arrested him on suspicion of abduction and cautioned him."

The officer said Bridger replied: "I know what this is all about."

He said the defendant went on: "It was an accident, I crushed her with the car. I don't know where she is. As I was going to drive away two girls on a bike came across me, I then got out and saw one girl lying under the car."

Earlier, Sophy Zlajic, an office clerk at Dyfi Autocraft in Machynlleth, told the jury that Bridger seemed "upset and teary-eyed" when he discussed April's disappearance with her on the morning of October 2. She added: "He also said something like' My children used to play with her'."

John Rowlands, a mechanic at the same garage, said in his statement that Bridger "appeared nervous and edgy".

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