April accused 'looked at porn'

Herald Series: April Jones went missing near her home in Machynlleth on October 1 last year (Dyfed-Powys Police/PA) April Jones went missing near her home in Machynlleth on October 1 last year (Dyfed-Powys Police/PA)

Mark Bridger looked at images of child pornography in the hours before he allegedly snatched April Jones, a court has heard.

Bridger, 47, is accused of murdering the five-year-old after he abducted her as she played outside her home in Machynlleth, mid-Wales, on October 1 last year. April's body has never been found.

On the second day of opening the case for the prosecution, Elwen Evans QC took the jury through images of young girls contained in folders on Bridger's Acer laptop.

The folders, given names including X0 and X5, contained photographs of local young girls which he downloaded from Facebook, as well as some obscene content. On the afternoon before April disappeared, the defendant viewed a pornographic cartoon of a young girl gagged and restrained as she was being raped, Miss Evans said.

She also showed the jury a number of internet searches the prosecution says were conducted on Bridger's laptop. They included "British girl murdered in France", "ten year old girls naked", and "pictures of ten year old girls".

The prosecution's case is that April's murder was "sexually motivated". Bridger, of Ceinws, denies abducting and murdering April and unlawfully disposing of and concealing her body with intent to pervert the course of justice. He accepts he "probably killed" April in a car accident, but will say he "blanked out" afterwards and cannot remember what he did with her body.

The jury was also shown a series of text messages sent and received by the defendant on that day. A number were exchanged between Bridger and his ex-girlfriend Vicky Fenner and related to the break-up.

The first message from Fenner at 7.38am said "good bye" and "try to be happy but I just can't do it. Sorry I can't do it and maybe I'll see you around". Bridger responded: "You were my life babe. My everything. I am still in love with you for what it's worth."

A series of texts are then exchanged in which Ms Fenner says she does not want anything from the house and that she does love the defendant but that she cannot carry on.

Bridger responds: "So there's nothing left at all worth fighting for?'' He than asks for assurances that "it's over for good'' and that she is "sure''. She replies: "I have said what I needed to say ok. Goodbye. This time find the right woman for you. See you around. I'll miss you. Take care. Love Vicky."

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