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Undated file handout photo issued by Dyfed-Powys Police of April Jones. Former slaughterhouse worker Mark Bridger has been found guilty of abducting and murdering schoolgirl April Jones

Undated file handout photo issued by Dyfed-Powys Police of April Jones. Former slaughterhouse worker Mark Bridger has been found guilty of abducting and murdering schoolgirl April Jones

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Undated file handout photo issued by Dyfed-Powys Police of April Jones. Former slaughterhouse worker Mark Bridger has been found guilty of abducting and murdering schoolgirl April Jones

Undated file handout photo issued by Dyfed-Powys Police of April Jones. Former slaughterhouse worker Mark Bridger has been found guilty of abducting and murdering schoolgirl April Jones

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Dyfed-Powys Police undated handout Facebook profile picture of former slaughterhouse worker Mark Bridger who has been found guilty of abducting and murdering schoolgirl April Jones

Dyfed-Powys Police undated handout Facebook profile picture of former slaughterhouse worker Mark Bridger who has been found guilty of abducting and murdering schoolgirl April Jones

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Undated handout photo issued by Dyfed Powys Police of the lounge in the home of Mark Bridger. Former slaughterhouse worker Bridger has been found guilty of abducting and murdering schoolgirl April Jones

Undated handout photo issued by Dyfed Powys Police of the lounge in the home of Mark Bridger. Former slaughterhouse worker Bridger has been found guilty of abducting and murdering schoolgirl April Jones

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Dyfed-Powys Police undated handout photo  of the Land Rover used by 46-year-old Mark Bridger. Former slaughterhouse worker Bridger has been found guilty of abducting and murdering schoolgirl April Jones

Dyfed-Powys Police undated handout photo of the Land Rover used by 46-year-old Mark Bridger. Former slaughterhouse worker Bridger has been found guilty of abducting and murdering schoolgirl April Jones

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File photo dated 8/10/2012 of a police team search land near Machynlleth, Mid Wales for the missing five year old April Jones.  Former slaughterhouse worker Mark Bridger has been found guilty of abducting and murdering schoolgirl April Jones

File photo dated 8/10/2012 of a police team search land near Machynlleth, Mid Wales for the missing five year old April Jones. Former slaughterhouse worker Mark Bridger has been found guilty of abducting and murdering schoolgirl April Jones

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File photo dated 5/10/2012 of Search and rescue teams continuing their search on the River Dyfi in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, for missing five-year-old April Jones. Former slaughterhouse worker Mark Bridger has been found guilty of abducting and murdering schoolgirl April Jones

File photo dated 5/10/2012 of Search and rescue teams continuing their search on the River Dyfi in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, for missing five-year-old April Jones. Former slaughterhouse worker Mark Bridger has been found guilty of abducting and murdering schoolgirl April Jones

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File photo dated 7/10/2012 of Police at the home of Mark Bridger, as the hunt for missing April Jones continues around Machynlleth, mid Wales. Former slaughterhouse worker Mark Bridger has been found guilty of abducting and murdering schoolgirl April Jones

File photo dated 7/10/2012 of Police at the home of Mark Bridger, as the hunt for missing April Jones continues around Machynlleth, mid Wales. Former slaughterhouse worker Mark Bridger has been found guilty of abducting and murdering schoolgirl April Jones

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File photo dated 2/10/2012 of the house where April Jones lives in Machynlleth. Former slaughterhouse worker Mark Bridger has been found guilty of abducting and murdering schoolgirl April Jones

File photo dated 2/10/2012 of the house where April Jones lives in Machynlleth. Former slaughterhouse worker Mark Bridger has been found guilty of abducting and murdering schoolgirl April Jones

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File photo dated 16/5/2013 of DC Fred Hunter from the media crime unit holding a bike belonging to April Jones' friend, (who cannot be named), in Mold, north Wales, as the jury has today viewed a car belonging to murder suspect Mark Bridger and the bike that was being ridden by schoolgirl April Jones on the night she went missing. Former slaughterhouse worker Mark Bridger has been found guilty of abducting and murdering schoolgirl April Jones

File photo dated 16/5/2013 of DC Fred Hunter from the media crime unit holding a bike belonging to April Jones' friend, (who cannot be named), in Mold, north Wales, as the jury has today viewed a car belonging to murder suspect Mark Bridger and the bike that was being ridden by schoolgirl April Jones on the night she went missing. Former slaughterhouse worker Mark Bridger has been found guilty of abducting and murdering schoolgirl April Jones

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Handout CCTV still issued by Dyfed Powys Police of Mark Bridger with his dog in Ceinws, Mid Wales during the search for April Jones. Bridger has been found guilty of abducting and murdering schoolgirl April Jones

Handout CCTV still issued by Dyfed Powys Police of Mark Bridger with his dog in Ceinws, Mid Wales during the search for April Jones. Bridger has been found guilty of abducting and murdering schoolgirl April Jones

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Undated handout photo issued by Dyfed Powys Police of the bathroom in the home of Mark Bridger. Former slaughterhouse worker Bridger has been found guilty of abducting and murdering schoolgirl April Jones

Undated handout photo issued by Dyfed Powys Police of the bathroom in the home of Mark Bridger. Former slaughterhouse worker Bridger has been found guilty of abducting and murdering schoolgirl April Jones

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Dyfed-Powys Police undated handout photo of the burnt knife recovered from the property in Ceinws. Former slaughterhouse worker Mark Bridger has been found guilty of abducting and murdering schoolgirl April Jones

Dyfed-Powys Police undated handout photo of the burnt knife recovered from the property in Ceinws. Former slaughterhouse worker Mark Bridger has been found guilty of abducting and murdering schoolgirl April Jones

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Mark Bridger has been found guilty by a jury of killing Welsh schoolgirl April Jones

Mark Bridger has been found guilty by a jury of killing Welsh schoolgirl April Jones

Paul and Coral Jones, the parents of April Jones, arrive at Mold Crown Court as the jury continues considering its verdicts

Paul and Coral Jones, the parents of April Jones, arrive at Mold Crown Court as the jury continues considering its verdicts

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The couple clung tightly to each other as they arrived at the court, where Mark Bridger is accused of their daughter's murder

The couple clung tightly to each other as they arrived at the court, where Mark Bridger is accused of their daughter's murder

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Undated  handout Dyfed-Powys Police imgae of former slaughterhouse worker Mark Bridger in custody. Bridger has been found guilty of abducting and murdering schoolgirl April Jones

Undated handout Dyfed-Powys Police imgae of former slaughterhouse worker Mark Bridger in custody. Bridger has been found guilty of abducting and murdering schoolgirl April Jones

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Bridger, in yellow, arrived in court from prison in the back of a police van

Bridger, in yellow, arrived in court from prison in the back of a police van

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Handout Dyfed-Powys Police image of April Jones in Leisure Centre on October 1, 2012. Former slaughterhouse worker Mark Bridger has been found guilty of abducting and murdering the schoolgirl

Handout Dyfed-Powys Police image of April Jones in Leisure Centre on October 1, 2012. Former slaughterhouse worker Mark Bridger has been found guilty of abducting and murdering the schoolgirl

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Undated  handout Dyfed-Powys Police image of former slaughterhouse worker Mark Bridger in custody. Bridger has been found guilty of abducting and murdering schoolgirl April Jones

Undated handout Dyfed-Powys Police image of former slaughterhouse worker Mark Bridger in custody. Bridger has been found guilty of abducting and murdering schoolgirl April Jones

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MOLD, WALES - MAY 30:  Paul and Coral Jones, the parents of April Jones, arrive at Mold Magistrates Court on May 30, 2013 in Mold, Wales.The jury will continue deliberations in the trial of Mark Bridger, 47, who is accused of the murder of five-year-old April who went missing in Machynleth on October 1, 2012.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

MOLD, WALES - MAY 30: Paul and Coral Jones, the parents of April Jones, arrive at Mold Magistrates Court on May 30, 2013 in Mold, Wales.The jury will continue deliberations in the trial of Mark Bridger, 47, who is accused of the murder of five-year-old April who went missing in Machynleth on October 1, 2012. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

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MOLD, WALES - MAY 30:  Mark Bridger arrives at Mold Magistrates Court with his head covered on May 30, 2013 in Mold, Wales. The jury will continue deliberations in the trial of Mark Bridger, 47, who is accused of the murder of five-year-old April who went missing in Machynleth on October 1, 2012.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

MOLD, WALES - MAY 30: Mark Bridger arrives at Mold Magistrates Court with his head covered on May 30, 2013 in Mold, Wales. The jury will continue deliberations in the trial of Mark Bridger, 47, who is accused of the murder of five-year-old April who went missing in Machynleth on October 1, 2012. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Getty Images

MOLD, WALES - MAY 29:  Mark Bridger is taken from Mold Magistrates Court with his head covered on May 29, 2013 in Mold, Wales. The jury has currently been sent home for the night as they consider their verdict in the trial of Mark Bridger, 47, who is accused of the murder of five-year-old April who went missing in Machynleth on October 1, 2012. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

MOLD, WALES - MAY 29: Mark Bridger is taken from Mold Magistrates Court with his head covered on May 29, 2013 in Mold, Wales. The jury has currently been sent home for the night as they consider their verdict in the trial of Mark Bridger, 47, who is accused of the murder of five-year-old April who went missing in Machynleth on October 1, 2012. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

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Handout Dyfed-Powys Police image of April Jones in Leisure Centre on October 1, 2012. Former slaughterhouse worker Mark Bridger has been found guilty of abducting and murdering the schoolgirl

Handout Dyfed-Powys Police image of April Jones in Leisure Centre on October 1, 2012. Former slaughterhouse worker Mark Bridger has been found guilty of abducting and murdering the schoolgirl

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Undated file handout photo issued by Dyfed-Powys Police of April Jones. Former slaughterhouse worker Mark Bridger has been found guilty of abducting and murdering schoolgirl April Jones

Like any other little girl, April Jones loved to play out with her friends.

 

And on the night she was snatched by child killer Mark Bridger, April had thrown a “tantrum” so she could do just that.

Her father, Paul Jones, had told her she could not go out to play.

But April cried and kept asking to be allowed outside - so eventually her father and his wife Coral gave in.

Less than 20 minutes later she was gone, never to be seen again.

Mrs Jones said she and her husband had both told April it was too late to go outside on her little pink bike.

In her statement to police, Mrs Jones said: “She kept on and on and had a little bit of a tantrum.

“We eventually gave in. I zipped up her coat and she went off to play outside with her friend. I told her I didn't want her to be long. I think that was around 7pm. This was the last time I saw her.”

Mrs Jones said that at about 7.20pm it was getting dark and colder, and she wanted April to come back inside.

That was when her world came crashing down and the awful events of October 1 began to unfold.

The five-year-old, who was born prematurely at 34 weeks and described in court as “slight”, was a “happy-go-lucky” little girl who did not let her cerebral palsy slow her down.

April, who had recently had her school report and was doing “really well”, had been having a day of fun.

She had been woken up in the morning with a cuddle from her mother and while Mr Jones made breakfast, she dressed her daughter, tied her blonde hair in a plait and sent her off to school with her father.

After a day shopping, they picked her up from school.

Mrs Jones told police that April “was a bit grumpy because she was tired” but that she soon cheered up when they dropped her off for a swimming lesson at the local leisure centre while they attended her school parents' evening.

To the surprise of her parents she seemed to have shaken off a mild stomach complaint and ate all of her dinner of spaghetti on toast when they brought her home.

April then settled down with her seven-year-old best friend and together they watched her favourite film - the Disney animation Tangled.

Mr Jones said she was pleading to be allowed out to play with her best friend after watching the film but they told her it was too late.

“She had a little paddy,” he said.

“I suppose we just gave in and she was told she could only go out for a short while,” he added.

The couple said April knew about “stranger danger” and would never have got into a car with someone she did not know.

Mr Jones said: “She is quite stubborn when she gets something in her mind.

“What happened after that is all a little blurry, if I'm honest.”

Mr Jones said he had known Bridger since about 1992 when the defendant was dating the sister of his then girlfriend.

He said: “I can't think of any reason why Mark Bridger would take April, he is a father too.

“I don't understand why he would do this to her.”

Despite the family's anguish, Bridger has continued to refuse to ease their suffering by telling them what he did with their daughter's body.

Belfast Telegraph