Monday 11 December 2017

'Sufficient evidence' to charge former lifeguard

Mark Bridger was yesterday charged with the abduction and murder of missing Welsh schoolgirl April Jones.

Dyfed-Powys Police said the 46-year-old former lifeguard was also charged with perverting the course of justice.

April, five, was snatched from the Bryn-y-Gog estate in Machynlleth, mid-Wales, last Monday evening.

Iwan Jenkins, the district crown prosecutor from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) 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."

Chief Constable Jackie Roberts said in a press conference in Aberystwyth that 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 yesterday after searchers were stood down on Friday night due to atrocious weather.

Superintendent Ian John said: "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, we are maintaining the momentum of the search and we remain totally focused and committed to finding April."

Sunday Independent

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