April Jones’ murderer Mark Bridger to appeal his sentence

Mark Bridger, the man responsible for the death of five-year old April Jones, who disappeared from Machynlleth in October 2012, is to appeal his sentence for her murder.

47-year-old Bridger was convicted of the abduction and murder of April at a trial in May, and sentenced to life in prison. Called a “pathological liar” and a “paedophile” by the judge, he was given a whole-life tariff.

Mark Leonard Bridger Photo - Dyfed Powys Police

Mark Leonard Bridger
Photo – Dyfed Powys Police

The Judicial Office said that Bridger had lodged an application for permission to appeal. Bridger, who has already received £150,000 in legal aid, is set to receive another £20,000 to take his appeal to the high court in January.

April Jones went missing from outside her home in Machynlleth on the 1st of October, 2012. Despite the largest police search in British history, her body has never been found. April’s blood and small fragments of bone were later found in Bridger’s house.

April’s parents, Paul and Coral Jones, were warned by police of Bridger’s intention to appeal his sentence. Mrs Jones said: “He’s in prison where he belongs and he should stay there. He’s just torturing my family with these legal battles. It’s like he’s taunting us, like he wants to show he’s got the upper hand.”

Speaking to BBC 5 Live, April Jones’s grandmother Linda Smith said: “I really don’t think he should have any right to appeal. It’s a bit of a shock to me. I didn’t realise this was happening. We would like to move on but it’s very difficult when things happen like this. It just brings it all up again.”

“I know that the law says he’s allowed to do this but I really hope it doesn’t happen. I don’t understand him. If he can’t say what has happened I don’t see how he can appeal. He’s just never said, has he? He never will, I don’t think.”

Despite having confessed to April’s murder in October, Bridger claims he cannot recall where he hid her body. It is believed that his denial has cost taxpayers over £8.5m through the investigation and search of this case and his latest appeal will only cost more. Tory MP Dominic Raab said: “It beggars belief that Mark Bridger can claim such a huge sum of  public money.”

The hearing is due to take place in January 2014.