April Jones trial: 'Skull fragments and DNA from blood matching the five-year-old girl' found in murder suspect Mark Bridger's home

Prosecution alleges abduction and killing was sexually motivated

Skull fragments and DNA from blood matching that of April Jones were found at the home of the man accused of the “sexually motivated” murder of the “happy and smiling” five -year-old girl, a court heard.

A charred “boning knife” was also found at the cottage of Mark Bridger, 47, a former abattoir slaughterman, who is accused of snatching the child from outside her home in October last year, it was claimed.

The prosecution alleged that Bridger had a large collection of internet images of child abuse and pictures of April and her two teenage half-sisters which he took from Facebook and other social media sites.

The jury at Mold Crown Court heard that Bridger was fascinated by child murders and kept pictures from notorious cases from around the world. His collection included Soham victims Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.

Bridger denies abducting and murdering April, whose disappearance in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, sparked the largest search in British police history. Neither her body nor her clothes have ever been found. Bridger claims he accidentally crushed the child to death under the wheels of his Land Rover on the estate where she lived near two of his own children. A combination of “alcohol, adrenaline and panic” meant he could not remember what he had done with her dead or dying body after loading it into the vehicle, however he did later claim to have put it somewhere “out of the rain”, the court heard.

Opening the case for the prosecution, Elwen Evans QC said that on the day April went missing, Bridger had viewed cartoon images of a distressed child being restrained and raped.

A child witness described seeing April getting into the Land Rover before being driven off. But his vehicle did not head towards local hospitals, instead taking a back route out of the estate, it was claimed.

The court heard that Bridger told locals he had served with the SAS and the British military, but this was a “fantasy and a lie”. He had however spent time participating in “survival and bushcraft” and knew the terrain around the Welsh town well.

Miss Evans said the evidence against him painted a “compelling and overwhelming” picture and that he went to “enormous lengths” to cover up her murder. The prosecution said his refusal to reveal the whereabouts of her body amounted to a “cruel game”.

Blood stains allegedly matching April’s DNA were found in the bathroom, living room and hallway of the remote cottage where he lived three miles from April’s home. Bone fragments, believed to be from a child’s skull along with the remnants of a burnt boning knife were also recovered from his wood-burning stove.

Bridger, who is over 6ft tall and told police he was “very strong”, listened intently as the evidence was laid  before the jury of nine women and three men appearing to wipe tears at one point.

Upstairs in the public gallery April’s parents Coral and Paul Jones sought to contain their emotions as the 999 call made by Mrs Jones after her daughter’s disappearance was played.

The trial continues on Wednesday.

Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv'The Last Kingdom' embraces politics, religion, warfare, courage, love and loyalty, say creators
Sport
Sergio Romero saves Wesley Sneijder's penalty
world cup 2014But after defeating the Dutch, Lionel Messi and Argentina will walk out at the Maracana on Sunday as underdogs against Germany
Sport
Scoreboard at the end of the semi-final World Cup match between Brazil and Germany at The Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte
Sport
'Saddest man in Brazil' takes defeat with good grace, handing replica trophy to German fans
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
peopleThe Game of Thrones author said speculation about his health and death was 'offensive'
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman and Lauren O'Neil in Jamie Lloyd's Richard III
theatreReview: The monarch's malign magnetism and diabolic effrontery aren’t felt
News
Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
newsFather Padraig O'Baoill said the exercise was 'unsavoury' in a weekly parish newsletter
Extras
indybest
News
people'She is unstoppable', says Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris show
Sport
Alexis Sanchez and apparently his barber Carlos Moles in Barcelona today
football
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus has her magic LSD brain stolen in this crazy video produced with The Flaming Lips
video
Arts and Entertainment
In his own words: Oscar Wilde in 1882
theatreNew play by the Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials - and what they reveal about the man
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unless films such as Guardians of the Galaxy, pictured, can buck the trend, this summer could be the first in 13 years that not a single Hollywood blockbuster takes $300m
filmWith US films earning record-breaking amounts at the Chinese box office, Hollywood is more than happy to take its lead from its new-found Asian audience
News
The garage was up for sale in Canning Place Mews for £500,000
newsGarage for sale for £500,000
Life and Style
tech
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil