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Tuesday 15 October 2019

April had a 'happy face when she got into van'

Martin Evans Mold

April Jones had a "happy face" when she climbed into a Land Rover and was driven off never to be seen again, her best friend has told a court.

The seven-year-old, who was the last person to see April (5) before she disappeared, said she got into the car by herself and was not placed into the vehicle by the man.

The youngster, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was giving evidence via video link at Mold Crown Court in the trial of Mark Bridger, who is accused of abducting and murdering April in a sexually motivated attack.

The jury was also shown an hour-long recorded interview the little girl gave to police on October 2 last year, the day after April disappeared.

She was then cross-examined by Bridger's defence barrister Brendan Kelly via video link.

During the proceedings the judge, Mr Justice Griffith-Williams and the barristers removed their wigs and gowns to make the experience less intimidating for the youngster.

During yesterday's cross- examination she was accompanied by a white stuffed bear, she explained was called Minty.

She described how she had been playing out on her bicycle with April on the evening of October 1 last year.

The youngster explained that as it was getting dark they decided to head home when she spotted a grey van-type vehicle parked on the estate.

"The man was waiting outside. I did not hear what they were saying but they were talking. After that she got into the van then they drove off the same way he came in to park."

The little girl went on: "She got in the van having a happy face. She was not upset."

Bridger (47) has denied abducting and murdering April.

The trial continues. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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