Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


April Jones trial: Evidence against Mark Bridger is 'overwhelming', court hears

Prosecutor says case 'stands strongly and compellingly' in closing speech

There is “overwhelming” evidence against the man accused of murdering April Jones, a jury heard today.

Mark Bridger, 47, is accused at Mold Crown Court of snatching and murdering the five-year-old in a "sexually motivated" attack.

In her closing speech to the jury today, Elwen Evans QC, prosecuting, said her case "stands strongly and compellingly".

"The evidence overwhelmingly compels the conclusion that the defendant is guilty of each count in this case," she added.

Miss Evans asked the jury to consider Bridger's answers in the "spotlight of the witness box".

"You have seen some glimpses into his mindset and some of those glimpses, you may have thought, are quite frankly shocking," she went on.

"But that assessment is for you.

"Some of you may have wondered how anybody could do what the prosecution allege this defendant has done and then concoct a story to cover up what he has done?"'

Miss Evans reminded the jury of Bridger's claims about being in the military and said: "On his own admission, this is a man who, over 20 years ago decided to create a whole new lie - a whole new life for himself, and a man who was prepared to live that lie."

She said Bridger "fabricated" his past, adding that he "did so for selfish reasons".

She added: "Time and time again, we say, you have seen this defendant manipulate his account to try and deal with evidence that he cannot overcome."

April disappeared as she was playing with a friend near their homes on the Bryn-Y-Gog estate, Machynlleth, Powys, on October 1 last year.

Bridger, a former slaughterhouse worker from Ceinws, denies abduction, murder and intending to pervert the course of justice.

He claims he killed April when he accidentally "crushed" her with his Land Rover but can't remember what he did with the body because he was drunk and panicking.