The former slaughterman accused of abducting and murdering schoolgirl April Jones has denied "weaving a complex web of lies" when "fabrications" about his life history were revealed to a jury.
Mark Bridger (47) of Ceinws, mid-Wales, took to the witness box at Mold Crown Court where he was accused of "lying through his teeth" as a catalogue of his own lies regarding his personal life were put to him.
In a series of aggressive questions, prosecutor Elwen Evans QC accused Bridger of being a "fantasist" who told "lie after lie".
Bridger claimed to have had a glittering military career and told police he had worked as an SAS-trained mercenary.
But the failed firefighter and former welder admitted he had maintained a string of lies for 23 years since moving to Wales and carried on lying when arrested.
Earlier, Bridger denied abducting, murdering or sexually abusing April but for the first time admitted he had a "recollection" of laying her down on his living room carpet following what he describes as a car accident.
He said he could not remember what he had done with April's body and that when he woke up the following morning he thought it had all been a "nightmare".
Bridger said he began the lies when he first moved to Machynlleth because he did not want people knowing "his business". He did not want people to know about the problems in his past.
Bridger denies abduction, murder and intending to pervert the course of justice by disposing of, concealing or destroying April's body.