Mark Bridger appears in court via video link over April Jones murder

The former lifeguard spoke to confirm his name and that he could properly hear the proceedings at Caernarfon Crown Court in North Wales.

The man accused of murdering missing five-year-old April Jones appeared in court via video link today.

Mark Bridger spoke to confirm his name and that he could properly hear the proceedings at Caernarfon Crown Court in North Wales.

The bearded former lifeguard, who sat wearing thin-rimmed glasses and a black jumper in front of a grey curtain, is accused of abducting and murdering April, and of unlawfully disposing of and concealing of her body with intent to pervert the course of justice.

During the 20 minute hearing, Bridger answered the clerk's questions by responding: “Yes ma'am.”

The court heard that the prosecution had been given notice of Bridger's “likely defence” which had been taken in interviews.

Mr Justice Griffith-Williams also said any decision about where any future trial would be held would be made after consultation with the victim's family.

The court heard that some of the witnesses in the case are as young as seven-years-old.

The 46-year-old, of Mount Pleasant farmhouse in the village of Ceinws, near Machynlleth, leaned forward at one point, as he appeared to be struggling to hear.

The case was adjourned until January 11 while investigations continue, the court was told.

Bridger was remanded into custody and no application for bail was made.

When asked by the judge if he understood what was happening, the defendant responded: “Yes sir.”

Elwen Evans QC, prosecuting, said forensic and other “extensive investigations” were continuing “apace” and the judge agreed that “matters may develop”.

But Mr Justice Griffith-Williams said it was his intention to try the case “at the earliest possible date”.

April was last seen near her home on the Bryn-y-Gog estate in the Mid Wales town on Monday evening last week.

Bridger was arrested the following day, and charged the following Saturday, but the search for April's body goes on.

Her parents, Coral Jones, 40, and husband Paul, 44, had allowed her to play out late as a treat after she received a glowing school report that day at a parents' evening which Bridger also attended.

The case sparked an outpouring of support for April's parents, with hundreds of people joining the search for their daughter and offering their assistance.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jay Z has placed a bet on streaming being the future for music and videos
music
Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury
music
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own