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

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins wins the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
(David Sandison)
newsHow living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor