News by email Donate


UK News

April's life will be celebrated at church services this Sunday, says Bishop of Bangor

The Bishop of Bangor's urging the community of Machynlleth in mid-Wales to not let bitterness and anger overwhelm them in the wake of Mark Bridger's conviction.

Bridger, 47, has been found guilty of the abduction and murder of schoolgirl April Jones and will spend the rest of his life in jail with no chance of parole.

He snatched the five year-old while she was playing on her bike near her home on October, 1st, 2012.

He's also been found guilty of intending to pervert the course of justice by disposing of the five year-old's body, which has never found despite one of the largest searches in British policing history.

The jury of nine women and three men returned the unanimous verdicts following four hours and six minutes of deliberations.

The trial, which began on April 30th, was told that Bridger was a "fantasist" who had "a clear interest in child pornography and in child murder cases".

It also emerged that Bridger told a prison priest he had dumped April's body in a river.

April's parents Paul, 41, and Coral, 43, watched the verdicts from the public gallery, and Mrs Jones appeared to wipe away tears as they were announced.

Mrs Jones gave an impact statement before the judged sentenced Bridger. In it she said: "I will live with the guilt of letting her (April) go out and play, for the rest of my life."

The Bishop of Bangor, the Rt Revd Andy John, gave Premier's Marcus Jones on the News Hour his reaction to the verdict:

The trial heard how the defendant had told police he was an SAS-trained "mercenary" but was in fact a former abattoir worker.

Elwen Evans QC, prosecuting, said Bridger murdered the girl and then played a "cruel game" in an attempt to cover his tracks.

She told the jury: "He claimed to know the rugged terrain around Machynlleth well, and that's been a significant feature in police determining the size, scope and scale in their search for April."

Ms Evans also told the jury about the kind of obscene material that had been found on Bridger's laptop following his arrest.

Police found numerous indecent images on the computer, as well as pictures of young female murder victims, including Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.

Bridger also had images of local young Machynlleth girls.

"We say his interest in pornography, young girls, rape and murder cases is all too relevant and you may see it as the key to understanding what he did and why he did what he did," Ms Evans told the jury.

It is not known what Bridger said to April to entice her into his car but the court heard she was "happy and smiling" when she was seen climbing into a Land Rover Discovery.

Ms Evans told the jury that Bridger's claim that April died when he accidently ran her over was a lie to cover up his "sexual" motivation for snatching her.

Early in the trial, the jury was taken to visit Bridger's cottage, Mount Pleasant, where April's blood and small bone fragments were found.

The disappearance of April, who had cerebral palsy, sparked a massive outpouring of support for her family, with hundreds of people joining in the search for her when she was reported missing.

Local businesswoman Mercia Hammond says the town of Machynlleth has been changed by what happened last October: "I think there is still a lot of healing to do in the town, it's made everybody feel very sad, it's a sad place here today and it's not going to be a happy place for sometime I don't think."

After the judgement April's headteacher Gwenfair Glyn spoke to reporters and said: "The last several months have been a difficult and upsetting experience for all the pupils, their families and the staff at the school.

"April was a beautiful and happy pupil. She was popular and cheerful child. She was a little ray of sunshine and a dear friend to us all."

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email