April Jones accused Mark Bridger weeps as murder and abduction charges are read to him

46-year-old cried to himself as the charges, which also include the unlawful disposal and concealment of a body with the intent to pervert the course of justice, were put to him

The man accused of the abduction and murder of missing five-year-old April Jones wept in court today.

46-year-old Mark Bridger cried to himself as the charges, which also include the unlawful disposal and concealment of a body with the intent to pervert the course of justice, were read out to him.

Standing in the dock of Aberystwyth Magistrates Court, the former lifeguard confirmed his name, age and address, adding that he understood the charges.

He was remanded in custody and will next appear at Caernarfon Crown Court on Wednesday.

Bridger was brought into court wearing a blue jumper. His faced looked red and flushed and he was unshaven.

He gazed down at the floor inside the dock area of the court, enclosed in protective glass. .

His eyes were tearful before he answered any questions and he appeared to be struggling to hold back his weeping.

The court clerk read out each charge individually, asking Bridger if he understood.

When the murder charge was read out he answered “yes” with a tremor in his voice and tears in his eyes.

He answered “yes” twice more to confirm he had understood each charge.

When his name was read out, he said: “That is correct.”

He answered “correct” to confirm that his date of birth was November 6, 1965, and said the same for his Mount Pleasant farmhouse address at the village Ceinws.

John Hedgecoe was defending Bridger. Iwan Jenkins, district crown prosecutor, was prosecuting. Neither were called upon to speak during the brief hearing.

There were angry scenes outside the court as Bridger left the court after a delay to serve him an early lunch.

The police van carrying him was punched and kicked as it drove out of a covered area within the court precincts and angry members of the crowd outside shouted “Scum” and “F****** kill him” as the police van sped off chased by several people.

Earlier this morning, around 100 people lined the streets and heckled the white van containing Bridger as it swept into the courts secure car park accompanied by three police cars.

At one point an object, which initial media reports suggest was either a shoe or a bottle, was thrown at the van. Police rushed to restrain the angry crowd and ensure they did not break through a police cordon.

Also sitting at the rear of the court was Superintendent Ian John, who has led the search for April.

Afterwards he returned to Machynlleth to continue co-ordinating the on-going operation to find the body of April.

April, who suffers from cerebral palsy and needs daily medication, was last seen near her home on the Bryn-y-Gog estate in Machynlleth on Monday evening. Bridger was arrested the following day.

A witness saw the schoolgirl step into what is believed to have been a Land Rover Discovery last Monday evening.

Her parents Coral Jones, 40, and husband Paul, 44, allowed her to play out late as a treat after she received a glowing school report that day at a parents' evening which Bridger also attended.

Bridger, who owns a Discovery, was arrested the following day and charged on Saturday after four days of questioning.

Mrs Jones issued a new appeal to continue efforts to find her daughter today.

In a message posted on Facebook, she said: “April has still not been found, I am not giving up hope that she will come home, so please keep looking for my baby girl April.

”She's our world, the whole family are in bits as we don't know where she is.“

More than 700 people packed into Machynlleth's St Peter's Church yesterday to attend an emotional service for the schoolgirl.

Reverend Kathleen Rogers led the moving sermon, in which she said: ”The realisation is coming on since yesterday when we heard murder - that has hit home.“

Reverend Rogers said prayers for April's parents and paid tribute to the community who had pulled together to help in the search.

She read a touching poem on behalf of April's mother called ”Mum“ as the Bishop of Bangor, Reverend Andy John, said the tight-knit community had ”touched the heart of people around the world“.

He revealed that emails had been received from as far afield as South Africa and New Zealand - with a church in Texas even making a donation.

Mountain rescue teams were stood down last night as the search operation switched emphasis.

Meanwhile the hunt goes on, with investigating officers revealing police numbers on the ground were doubled this morning.

Night time search efforts have been suspended, with the shift in manpower being described as a change of ”resources rather intensity“.

Superintendent John paid tribute to mountain rescue volunteers ”who have worked themselves to a standstill in the search for April“.

He added: ”We are upping our numbers to 18 teams which will be over 100 officers.”

News
peoplePaper attempts to defend itself
Voices
voicesWe desperately need men to be feminists too
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
tech
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits