April's mother relives frantic hunt
Published 03/05/2013 | 13:16
A jury has heard of the frantic moments when the parents of April Jones learned that their five-year-old daughter was missing.
The police statements of Coral and Paul Jones were read out to the trial of Mark Bridger, who denies abducting and murdering the schoolgirl.
The statements, read at Mold Crown Court by Elwen Evans QC, prosecuting, began by outlining the family's day on October 1.
After April was collected from school, she was taken by her mother for a swimming lesson before they returned home for a tea of spaghetti on toast. After she had watched her favourite Disney film, April asked to go out and play on her bike with a friend, her mother said.
Mrs Jones, 43, said 20 minutes later, she sent April's older brother out to get her as "it was getting dark and a little colder".
"Within a very short time he came running home and he was in a hysterical state. When I calmed him down he said that April's friend had seen her getting into a car with a man and that she had gone.
"I immediately went over and asked April's friend what she had seen. I was told that April had got into a car with a man and he had driven off."
Mrs Jones called the police straight away. "I was so upset I do not remember much of what was said," she added. "I think I spoke to the police for a little while then gave the phone to my friend.
"I went out and searched around the estate, everywhere I could think of. I even looked in the bins. I asked a friend to drive me around in my car.
"I was frantic, trying to find her."