Mark Bridger convicted of abduction and murder of April Jones

mark bridgerMARK Bridger has been convicted of the abduction and murder of April Jones.

The jury at Mold Crown Court took just over four hours to convict him, after a trial that lasted five weeks.

Bridger will be sentenced by the judge on Thursday, although he will automatically be sentenced to life imprisonment, with the judge setting the minimum term before he can be released.

April was abducted by Bridger on 1 October 2012, whilst playing with friends in a housing estate in Machynlleth, 18 miles north of Aberystwyth.

He took her body to his house, where splatters of blood were found and remains of a small child’s skull were found in the fireplace.

April’s body has never been found despite an extensive police search that only finished last month.

The search was one of the biggest such operations in UK history, utilising teams from around the country – marine units, experts in searching confined spaces and mines, fire and rescue urban search and rescue teams, coastguard and mountain rescue teams and specialist dog teams.

Bridger continued to plead his innocence throughout the trial, claiming he had accidentally run April over and then forgotten what he had done with her body.

Child pornography interest

During the course of the trial, it has been revealed that Bridger’s computer showed he had an interest in child sex images, had photographs of local children and an interest in child murder cases, in particular the Soham murder victims Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.

His computer also revealed that he had previously searched for “naked young five year old girls” and “nudism five year old”. On the day April was abducted, he had also viewed a pornographic cartoon which apparently depicted rape.

As the first day of the trial went on, it was revealed that blood with a ‘billion to one’ match to April’s DNA and fragments which are bone fragments consistent with those of a juvenile human skull were found at Bridger’s home in Ceinws, Machynlleth.

The prosecution also revealed that Bridger used fire to dispose of evidence and used detergent as part of an “extensive clean-up” but listed the places where an indication of April’s presence was found; including a concentration of blood near his wood-burner and DNA mixed with Bridger’s and an unidentified individual on the shower curtain.