Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

April Jones accused 'behaved oddly'

April's body has never been found, though DNA matching the youngster was recovered from Mark Bridger's house, the court heard

The man accused of kidnapping and murdering schoolgirl April Jones behaved in a "strange" and "odd" manner at a parents' evening hours before her disappearance, a court has heard.

The youngster was allegedly snatched by Mark Bridger, 47, who denies her murder.

April, who had cerebral palsy, vanished while playing on her bike near her home in Machynlleth, mid-Wales, in the early evening of October 1 last year.

On the day she went missing Bridger turned up at a parents' evening at Machynlleth Junior School, behaving oddly, Mold Crown Court heard.

The court was also told the head teacher of the school knew about the defendant's "history of relationships with young mothers" and how he allegedly tried to entice another young girl into his car around an hour before April disappeared.

The court heard from Gwenfair Glyn, head teacher at Machynlleth Junior School, where April was a Year 1 pupil.

Mrs Glyn gave her evidence in Welsh and her words were translated and relayed to the jury via headphones.

She told the court about the parents' evening which the defendant attended at around 5.20pm on the day of April's disappearance. His daughter was a pupil at the school, the court heard.

Mrs Glyn said the first time she spotted Bridger he was talking to a young girl who was aged around 14 or 15. She said she believed the girl was a former pupil.

The prosecution claims Bridger snatched and murdered April in a sexually motivated attack. The defendant claims he knocked her down by accident and through a mixture of panic, adrenaline and alcohol in the aftermath, cannot remember what he did with her body.

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