Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Bridger denies lying about April

Mark Bridger at Mold Crown Court, where he is accused of murdering April Jones

The man accused of abducting and murdering April Jones told a jury he has "no answer" as to what he did with her body.

Mark Bridger, 47, was giving evidence for the third day during his trial at Mold Crown Court.

The former slaughterhouse worker claims he accidentally killed the five-year-old when he "crushed" her with his Land Rover but can't remember what he did with the body because he was drunk and panicking.

In a tense exchange towards the end of his cross-examination by Elwen Evans QC, prosecuting, she put to Bridger that he was lying and had created a "fantasy" to explain April's death.

Miss Evans said: "Your whole statement about an accident, she was 'crushed' or whatever your explanation is, is a lie." "No," Bridger said.

"Or a fabrication or a fantasy," Miss Evans went on, and again the defendant, wearing spectacles and a blue shirt and tie, said: "No, no".

She asked him what he said to April, "to get her into the car" and he replied: "I never spoke to April." He also denied he had a "sexual interest" in young children.

April's parents Coral, 43, and Paul, 41, have attended each day of the trial, watching events from a public gallery above the court room. Mrs Jones was reported to have left the room "visibly upset" during Bridger's evidence.

Her daughter disappeared as she was playing with a friend near their homes on the Bryn-Y-Gog estate, Machynlleth, Powys, on October 1 last year. The prosecution say Bridger snatched and murdered her in a sexually motivated attack.

Brendan Kelly QC concluded the defence case and the trial was adjourned until 11am on Tuesday when the barristers will give their closing speeches to the jury.

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