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Mark Bridger 'probably responsible' for death of missing five-year-old April Jones, says defence barrister

Former lifeguard denies abducting and murdering April Jones

Mark Bridger is ‘probably responsible’ for the death of missing five-year-old April Jones but denies abducting and murdering her, a court heard today.

The former lifeguard entered not guilty pleas to abduction, murder and perverting the course of justice at Mold Crown Court earlier today.

But defence barrister Brendan Kelly told the court that his client's defence will involve him “conceding that he probably killed the child”.

Mr Justice Griffith-Williams said: “That matter can be reported. You have indicated that the defendant's case is that he was probably responsible for the death of April.”

The judge ordered that no other evidence in the case can be reported.

Bridger, of Mount Pleasant farmhouse in the village of Ceinws, near Machynlleth, will stand trial later this year accused of murdering April, who went missing in mid Wales last year.

April was last seen playing out on her bike on Machynlleth's Bryn-y-Gog estate, where she lived, on the evening of October 1.

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

April's parents Coral and Paul Jones were in court today as Bridger, 46, entered his not guilty pleas.

The trial, which is estimated would take around four weeks, was listed to begin on February 25.