April murder trial told: ‘I must have put her body somewhere’

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The man accused of abducting and murdering schoolgirl April Jones in a sexually motivated attack told a jury he must have put her body “somewhere where it has not been found”.

Mark Bridger, 47, of Ceinws, mid-Wales, denied being a paedophile during the second day of cross-examination at his trial.

Elwen Evans QC, prosecuting, told Mold Crown Court police looking for April had carried out the biggest search in British history, and asked Bridger: “Where did you put the body?”

The defendant said: “I can’t recall. I still believe I have placed her somewhere.”

Miss Evans said: “Why has April’s body, not any a part of it, been found?”

The defendant replied: “I have put her somewhere where it hasn’t been found.”

Bridger denied putting the body somewhere “carefully chosen”.

He denies abduction, murder and intending to pervert the course of justice by disposing of, concealing or destroying April’s body.

April disappeared on October 1
last year and the prosecution is arguing that Bridger snatched and murdered her in a sexually motivated attack.

Bridger says he accidentally killed the five-year-old when he ran her over and accepts he must have got rid of her body, but he says he cannot remember where or how because he was suffering memory loss.

Earlier the trial heard how Bridger viewed images of child pornography on his laptop on the day April went missing and that forensic investigators discovered traces of April’s blood in Bridger’s living room, hall and bathroom.

Bridger told the jury he had a recollection of “holding” April and placing her on the floor in front of the fireplace in his living room at his cottage.

Miss Evans said that was a “major” memory to recall.

“Up until this recollection your story had been that April had never been to the house,” she went on, asking when the memory had “come back” to him.

Bridger told the jury it was during discussions with his legal team.

Miss Evans said: “It’s a memory that has come back to you because you realised it’s a fact that April’s blood was on the carpet.”

Asked about saws, hacksaws and knives in his living room, Bridger told the court they were “tools” for outdoor activities. He added that two pairs of handcuffs in the living room were “just decorative”.

Earlier, Miss Evans asked Bridger whether he had been “sexually frustrated” on the day April disappeared.

He said: “No, not at all.”

Under questioning, he agreed that October 1 was the day that his relationship with his girlfriend ended.

Asked about the indecent images of children found on his laptop, Miss Evans asked the defendant: “Are you a paedophile?”

“No,” Bridger said.

The questioning barrister then continued: “Why do you have indecent images of children on your computer?”

Bridger replied: “A lot of them were for looking into the development of my son and daughter.

“Some I didn’t even know were there. Others I put aside to complain.”

The jury was shown examples of searches carried out on the laptop. The first was “France British schoolgirl raped and murdered”.

He told the court he conducted that search because it referred to a case which took place near where he was taking his children on holiday.

He said a search for “naked five-year-old girls” was mistyped and should have read “15-year-old”, while the search “animated porn girls” was to find the postal address for the companies involved so he could protest to them.

The case continues.