Search goes on as Mark Bridger charged with abduction and murder of April Jones

 

Mark Bridger has been charged with the abduction and murder of missing five-year-old April Jones, who went missing from her Welsh home town on Monday evening.

Bridger, 46, who was arrested the following day, has also been charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Iwan Jenkins, the district crown prosecutor from the Crown Prosecution Service in Wales, said: "I now have to advise that, having carried out a detailed review of the evidence gathered so far by Dyfed-Powys Police, my conclusion is that there is sufficient evidence to charge Mark Bridger with the murder of April Jones, and that it is in the public interest to do so.

"I have also concluded that there is sufficient evidence to charge the defendant with attempting to pervert the course of justice and child abduction."

He said Bridger will appear before Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court on Monday morning.

Mr Jenkins added: "The huge public and media interest in this case is understandable. I would just like to stress that, whilst Mark Bridger stands accused of serious criminal charges, he retains the right to a fair trial.

"I would therefore ask that nothing is placed in the public domain that may undermine the criminal justice process."

Chief Constable Jackie Roberts said in a press conference in Aberystwyth the investigation was "one of the most complex and fast moving inquiries in the history of our force".

She said: "Now that Mark Bridger has been charged with this horrific crime it is time to let the judicial process take its course and time to let the family come to terms with what has happened over the last week.

"In the meantime our efforts to find April will be as meticulous as they have been from the outset of this inquiry until we have exhausted all available options."

Police said the hunt for missing April was continuing after searchers were stood down last night due to atrocious weather.

Superintendent Ian John said: "This morning we have deployed 10 specialist police teams who are conducting a systematic and methodical search in and around the town.

"We continue to have the support of a whole range of search and rescue teams who are using specialist equipment as we continue our efforts.

"We will be keeping April's family fully updated on progress of this investigation.

"Finally, despite today's announcement, we are maintaining the momentum of the search and we remain totally focused and committed to finding April."

April was seen to willingly get into what is believed to have been a Land Rover Discovery on Monday.

Bridger, a local man known to the girl's family, was arrested on suspicion of abduction on Tuesday afternoon.

His Land Rover Discovery was also seized by police and is undergoing forensic examination.

Yesterday police announced Bridger had been arrested on suspicion of murder, indicating they no longer expect to find April alive. They were yesterday granted a final 24 hours to question him.

Emergency services including the Coastguard, RNLI, RAF mountain rescue and 150 members of mountain rescue teams from across the UK have been searching since April vanished.

PA

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory