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.

PA

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
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before