Wednesday 16 October 2019

'She's been taken' - April Jones's mother told police, court hears

APRIL JONES'S mother told police "She's been taken" when they arrived after she reported her five-year-old daughter had vanished, a court heard.

Coral Jones paced her house repeating the words as the first officer arrived and the massive search began for April, who had cerebral palsy.

The youngster was allegedly snatched by Mark Bridger, 47, who denies her murder.

April vanished while playing on her bike near her home in Machynlleth, mid-Wales, in the early evening of October 1.

PC Fiona Evans told Mold Crown Court she was the first police officer called to the incident and went straight to April's home, arriving at 7.37pm. She said Coral was “Pacing the corridor, repeating, 'She's been taken! She's been taken!’”

PC Evans said she took an account from April's best friend, who she had been playing out with and who witnessed the alleged abduction. She said: "Initially in my opinion she appeared nervous, stood still, staring straight ahead.

"I needed to get as much information as possible. At the same time I didn't want to upset or frighten her."

The officer said when she told the child they needed to find April and asked if she knew where she was, the youngster replied that she’d gone in a grey van and there was a man in there. She said she’d seen the same van the day before.

PC Evans took the girl outside to see if any of the parked cars were the same vehicle or looked similar to it, but the girl could not answer.

News had spread and people were arriving at the house offering their help while the officer radioed information to police headquarters, the court heard.

PC Evans then took the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, to the scene where April went missing, near to her home in Machynlleth.

It is alleged Bridger snatched and murdered April in a sexually motivated attack.

Bridger claims he knocked her down by accident and through a mixture of panic, adrenaline and alcohol in the aftermath, cannot remember what he did after that.

April's body has never been found, though DNA matching the youngster was recovered from Bridger's house, the court heard.

The trial continues.

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