April Jones 'cried and begged' to be allowed to play outside on night she was snatched

Five-year-old cried and begged to be allowed outside and parents eventually gave in

Video: April Jones' grandparents speak

Like any other little girl, April Jones loved to play out with her friends.

And on the night she was snatched by child killer Mark Bridger, April had thrown a “tantrum” so she could do just that.

Her father, Paul Jones, had told her she could not go out to play.

But April cried and kept asking to be allowed outside - so eventually her father and his wife Coral gave in.

Less than 20 minutes later she was gone, never to be seen again.

Mrs Jones said she and her husband had both told April it was too late to go outside on her little pink bike.

In her statement to police, Mrs Jones said: “She kept on and on and had a little bit of a tantrum.

“We eventually gave in. I zipped up her coat and she went off to play outside with her friend. I told her I didn't want her to be long. I think that was around 7pm. This was the last time I saw her.”

Mrs Jones said that at about 7.20pm it was getting dark and colder, and she wanted April to come back inside.

That was when her world came crashing down and the awful events of October 1 began to unfold.

The five-year-old, who was born prematurely at 34 weeks and described in court as “slight”, was a “happy-go-lucky” little girl who did not let her cerebral palsy slow her down.

April, who had recently had her school report and was doing “really well”, had been having a day of fun.

She had been woken up in the morning with a cuddle from her mother and while Mr Jones made breakfast, she dressed her daughter, tied her blonde hair in a plait and sent her off to school with her father.

After a day shopping, they picked her up from school.

Mrs Jones told police that April “was a bit grumpy because she was tired” but that she soon cheered up when they dropped her off for a swimming lesson at the local leisure centre while they attended her school parents' evening.

To the surprise of her parents she seemed to have shaken off a mild stomach complaint and ate all of her dinner of spaghetti on toast when they brought her home.

April then settled down with her seven-year-old best friend and together they watched her favourite film - the Disney animation Tangled.

Mr Jones said she was pleading to be allowed out to play with her best friend after watching the film but they told her it was too late.

“She had a little paddy,” he said.

“I suppose we just gave in and she was told she could only go out for a short while,” he added.

The couple said April knew about “stranger danger” and would never have got into a car with someone she did not know.

Mr Jones said: “She is quite stubborn when she gets something in her mind.

“What happened after that is all a little blurry, if I'm honest.”

Mr Jones said he had known Bridger since about 1992 when the defendant was dating the sister of his then girlfriend.

He said: “I can't think of any reason why Mark Bridger would take April, he is a father too.

“I don't understand why he would do this to her.”

Despite the family's anguish, Bridger has continued to refuse to ease their suffering by telling them what he did with their daughter's body.


Further reading:

Mark Bridger found guilty of murder and abduction of April Jones

Profile: Mark Bridger was an alcoholic paedophile who lived out sexual fantasies on the internet

Bridger's cottage should 'no longer exist', say April Jones' parents

The search for April Jones in numbers

Mark Bridger watched brutal rape film before murdering April

Psychologist: 'Mark Bridger could take years to reveal what happened to April Jones'

Search for April Jones' remains will continue if Mark Bridger gives up information