April Jones case: Evidence points 'overwhelmingly' to guilt, court told (Bbc.co.uk)

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April Jones case: Evidence points 'overwhelmingly' to guilt, court told (Bbc.co.uk)

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Evidence against a man accused of murdering five-year-old April Jones "overwhelmingly" points to his guilt, a jury has been told.

Mark Bridger, 47, of Ceinws, Powys, denies abducting and murdering April, who went missing near her Machynlleth home on 1 October 2012.

In her closing speech, prosecutor Elwen Evans QC, told Mold Crown Court Mr Bridger's account of events was "totally incredible".

The defence summed up later on Tuesday.

The prosecution has claimed Mr Bridger murdered April in a sexually motivated attack and disposed of her body so that she could not be found despite the largest police search in UK history.

The defence claims April died after the defendant accidentally knocked her over with his Land Rover while she played with a friend near her home on the Bryn-Y-Gog estate.

But he said he "panicked" and, partly because of the amount of alcohol he had consumed, cannot remember where he put her body.

On Tuesday, Ms Evans told the jury that "ultimate responsibility is yours and yours alone".

"Putting aside emotion, putting aside sympathy, prejudice..." the evidence "overwhelmingly leads to the conclusion" that the defendant is guilty of all three counts.

She said only someone who had sat through every day of the case and heard all the evidence could "truly assess the nature of the defendant's evidence".

While Mr Bridger was "sitting there in the spotlight of the witness box", she said some of his accounts had been "quite frankly shocking".

She said the prosecution case was that he had tried to "concoct such a story to try and cover up what he has done".

Ms Evans said: "This is a man who over 20 years ago... decided to create a whole new lie for himself, a whole new life for himself.

"He came up with a false identity, embroidered it... the lie, the fabricated fantasy that he had been a soldier of some skill, a mercenary of some skill, was a story he advanced for his own benefit and it was a lie that was advanced to everyone."

"There were other substantial lies," she added.

"He wrote his parents out of the script. He was to say to the police in his interviews that he had not had contact with them for a long time so it was easier to say that they'd died."

Ms Evans said Mr Bridger, who looked straight at the prosecutor all morning as she addressed the jury, had been prepared to "manipulate his story or his account".

Referring to one of his responses in cross-examination, she quoted him as saying: "What was I supposed to do, change my story halfway through?"

She added: "He changed his story when he gave his evidence to you. He did that because he knew evidentially the game was up on that issue."

Ms Evans went on to say that on the day that April disappeared, Mr Bridger "had gone to significant lengths to lie about any involvement".

She said the evidence "most glaringly under attack" had been that of April's seven-year-old friend.

"Imagine the frustration for the defendant that in effect his whole story... is laid waste effectively by the evidence of a seven-year-old girl... and of course you will need to assess and evaluate her evidence bearing in mind her age," said Ms Evans.

"The defendant himself made a very interesting comment about her, again in the course of cross-examination... he said she was mistaken about the colour; about the number of doors. But she had lied about how April had got into the car."

'Happy face'

"If you conclude that [April's friend] is telling the truth then that is the end of the defendant's lie, fabrication, fantasy.

"If she, April, got into the defendant's car and if she did so smiling, that's it... and you may think in a case where there have been some impressive witnesses, that actually little [April's friend] has been one of the most impressive witnesses, all seven years of her," she added.

She recalled the words of the friend: "She got in the van having a happy face... and she wasn't upset... the man didn't put her in the car but she did. She wasn't crying, she was happy."

Ms Evans added: "Why on earth should April's friend make up that story?"

She also gave more examples of the seven-year-old's evidence and added: "The totality of [April's friend's] evidence is powerful and compelling evidence in this case."

She said that "the reality here is that if the defendant abducted April... if she got into his car with a smiling face, uninjured... then his conviction on all three of the counts on this indictment follows".

"There can be no suggestion that her death was anything other than murder," she said.

Ms Evans said the jury "may think that the defendant has sought to significantly exaggerate his level of intoxication". She said he had a detailed recollection of what occurred by the garages but it "totally disappears" within minutes.

She said that whatever he did that night, it involved "laying her down in front of the fire, involves the spilling of April's blood, involves the cleaning up, involves placing some items in the fireplace, involves removing any trace... involves disposing of her body so completely that the biggest police search in British history has failed to find her".

She added: "Yes, he may well have been drinking... but a drunken intent is still an intent".

She said Mr Bridger's claim to have picked April up, putting her in the car and performing life saving techniques - rather than calling for help - was "totally incredible".

The defendant had given a "graphic account of April's last breath", said Ms Evans.

She referred to "forensic scientific evidence in the car - significant of course because there is in effect no forensic scientific evidence in the car" to support his claim of having ran April over.

She said that "undoubtedly the defendant is acutely aware of forensic scientific issues" and had been "coming up with all sorts of excuses", such as having given April mouth-to-mouth to explain how her DNA was found on him.

The defendant thought he had "got rid of each and every trace of April from the house", she said.

She referred to the evidence of one of the experts who believed the large blood stain on the carpet at his home indicated "prolonged contact" with the source of April's blood.

Ms Evans said the discovery of bone fragments in his fireplace could not explain what had happened to the remainder of April's body.

She added: "I started my questions to the defendant in the way I finished... where did you put April, where is she? That question remains unanswered. Why he did it is all too clearly answered.

"So far as April's body is concerned... the evidence of the search again shows us that another aspect of the defendant's account is wrong.

"His account is 'I left her somewhere because I wanted her to be found'... the evidence of the search... clearly shows that this disposal of the body... left no trace for any of the searches," she added.

Moving on to computer evidence, she said Mr Bridger had an interest in young girls and an interest in real life crime. She said these two factors taken together painted "a very powerful picture".

Concluding, she said the case would be "decided by the evidence and what you make of that evidence... the evidence is for you, the verdicts are for you but you know that our submission... is that the evidence in this case points to one and only one conclusion... that this defendant, Mark Bridger, is guilty to counts one, two and three on the indictment".

Mr Bridger also denies intending to pervert the course of justice.

His defence team addressed the jury on Tuesday afternoon.

The case continues.

Vypadá to, že ten zoufalec ji vážně zabil ...bože. Proč nezůstal u toho internetu? Proč se neléčil s chlastem. Proč nešel za sexuologem? Proč se nepřihlásil na ČEPEK.
Chtělo se se mi od toho loňského října, odkdy to sleduji, stále doufat, že se najde živá a štvalo mne, že o ní mluvili už od třetího dne jako o " murder victim". bohužel to vypadá, že se nemýlili....
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Know that in a former time
Love, sweet love, was thought a crime. (...)"
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Re: April

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Zoufalec jde na doživotí. Ač nic nepřiznal a neví se dosud, co s dívenkou udělal, spousta důkazů ukazuje na to, že byl poslední, kdi ji viděl a, že ji zavraždil.

Mark Bridger, the man found guilty of abducting and murdering five-year-old April Jones, has been urged to finally reveal what he did with her body.

The 47-year-old, of Ceinws, Powys, will spend his whole life in prison after he was found guilty of killing April in a sexually motivated attack.

She went missing while playing near her home in Machynlleth last October. Her remains have never been found.

A community spokesman pleaded for the killer to say where her body was.

Following the verdict, Machynlleth councillor Michael Williams urged Bridger to reflect on the "magnitude" of his "horrific" crime and reveal what he did with April's body.

"How can a man be so unfeeling? How is it possible for anyone to be in such a state of mind? I would appeal to Mark Bridger - please, please let the family know," he said.

"What happened to that little girl, where was she put? What did he do with her?"

He said the family needed some peace after the "horrendous" events of 1 October.

However, getting Bridger to crack and finally reveal what he did with April, who had mild cerebral palsy, could take years, a criminal psychologist has said.

Mystery still surrounds what exactly happened to the five-year-old after her friend said she "happily" got into Bridger's Land Rover after he approached her on the Bryn-y-Gog estate at about 7pm on 1 October, 2012.

During police interviews and throughout his four-and-a-half week trial, he rigidly stuck to his story that he accidentally ran April over and was so drunk he could not recall where he had put her body.

The largest missing person search in UK police history failed to find her remains.

In an interview with The Sun, April's parents Paul and Coral Jones said there was "no way" that Bridger would tell them where their daughter is - and they will not give him the satisfaction of asking.

Mrs Jones said: "It's the not knowing that's the hardest part. It's my worst nightmare come true," she told the newspaper.

"We haven't got a body to give April a proper burial and that breaks my heart.

"Lots of people have questioned him, but he's refused to tell us all along. If he's lied to police, barristers, the judge, there's no way he will tell me where my little girl is."

After he was unanimously found guilty of her abduction and murder, the judge at Mold Crown Court, Mr Justice John Griffith Williams, branded father-of-six Bridger a "pathological liar" and "a paedophile".

He gave him a whole life tariff - only the 37th person in the UK to receive one - and told him: "Without the knowledge of what happened to April, her parents will probably never come to terms with their grievous loss."

Criminal psychologist Serena Simmons said unpicking the complex web of lies spun by Bridger would be far from easy for prison psychiatrists.

But while it could take some time, "the truth will usually emerge" in such cases, she added.
Image caption April Jones went missing after playing with a friend near her home

"He clearly is deluded and has a distorted view of the world," said Ms Simmons, a Nottingham Trent University senior psychology lecturer who has interviewed serial killers in the UK and USA.

"He certainly displays this mentality of 'if I keep stalling then eventually things will blow over'. But that is far from the case.

"The reason why killers often refuse to admit the extent of their crimes and their motivation can vary tremendously.

"But he definitely knows what he has done to April Jones and how she came to her death.

"If you question a person repeatedly, especially one who is trying to hide something, then the truth will usually emerge.

"The cracks in his story have already started to show during his trial. He will face more questions while in prison from his psychiatrist.

"Whether he chooses to engage with that process is a different matter but I fear finding out the full extent of what he did could take a very long time."

'Controlling and manipulative'
Criminal psychologist Serena Simmons said one of the challenges health professionals face in dealing with violent offenders is their manipulative nature.

"Often offenders like Bridger will display a high level of emotional intelligence (EI). This is different from someone's IQ and how intelligent they are," she said.

"EI is about an individual's ability to identify, assess and control the emotions of oneself or others."

Bridger's cunning nature was all too evident during his trial - which saw him cry crocodile tears on several occasions.

"Violent offenders often have a very long back story that you need to unpick before you can attempt to try and get the truth," Ms Simmons added.

Search called off

Shortly after he was convicted on Thursday, it emerged that while on remand at HMP Manchester Bridger told a prison priest he disposed of April's body in a river - thought to be the Dyfi close to where he was arrested.

This conversation was the subject of legal arguments during the trial.

The jury was absent during the discussion and the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to submit the evidence.

What was revealed during the trial was that fragments of bone consistent with a juvenile human skull were found among ashes in the woodburner, along with April's blood near to a number of knives, including one which was badly burned.

A library of child sex abuse images was found on his computer, and evidence of search terms including "naked young five-year-old girls" as well as pictures of murder victims including the Soham victims Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.

He also had Facebook pictures of local young girls including April and her sisters.

April's disappearance sparked the biggest missing person search in UK police history.

But despite the fact that search experts, officers from 46 police forces and hundreds of members of the public scoured 650 areas covering 60 sq km near her home town, April's body has never been found.

Insp Gareth Thomas, who led the search, told the jury he was "extremely confident" that if April's body was anywhere in the vicinity, it would have been found.

The seven-month search for her remains was finally called off last month.

a April se už asi nikdy nenajde
" the judge at Mold Crown Court, Mr Justice John Griffith Williams, branded father-of-six Bridger a "pathological liar" and "a paedophile".
Třikrát ženatý, asi šest dětí s různými ženami...hm.. typický pedofil, že ano. :-(