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Anorak | April Jones: What we know about Mark Bridger

April Jones: What we know about Mark Bridger

by | 2nd, October 2012

APRIL Jones, 5, is missing from the mid-Wales town of Machynlleth. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger, Sky News reports. What do we know about him?

UPDATE: Mark Bridger has been charged with the murder of April Jones.

Well, right now the entire British media is searching Facebook for him. You pity all people named Mark Bridger.

He lives near to the missing girl.

He was born in Surrey.

He was arrested while walking along the side of the road a couple of miles outside the mid-Wales town of Machynlleth.

Police say he has a vehicle similar to the one described by witnesses who saw April’s abduction. Police have the vehicle.

Is he known to the missing child’s family? Says Detective Superintendent Reg Bevan, from Dyfed Powys Police:

“It’s very early stages. He is clearly a local man, it’s a small community, I wouldn’t like to speculate further, but I may have some more information later on.”

Don’t want to speculate. Sky News named him. The BBC passed it on as fact. Speculation will be rife.

Update: Police have confirmed that the arrested man is called Mark Leonard Bridger.

“We are still pursuing all lines of inquiry with a view that April is still alive and we will continue to do so until we find her.”

Sky News says Mark Bridger is father to two young children, one of whom was said to have been playing with April yesterday.

The Mail says he’s an ex-soldier.

A reader suggests that Bridger’s partner is qualified in child care.

Right now he is an innocent man. We do not know where April Jones is. He has not been charged with any crime. Still on Twitter, the righteous are out for blood. In naming Mark Bridges has Sky News placed him in danger? Get a load of the enlightened:

As we say, there is no poof that April Jones has been harmed, let alone killed.  Mark Bridger must be presumed innocent. Police say all lines of enquiry remain open. The arrested man has not been charged with any crime. Still, over on the Telegraph’s front page, there’s a photo of him.

The paper says:

Mr Bridger, a father-of-six who had been the police’s prime suspect… Neighbours said he was a former soldier who had worked as a lifeguard, a welder, and at a slaughterhouse. He had two vehicles, one of which was a left-hand drive Land Rover Discovery made in Spain. Police had earlier said that April was seen getting into the driver’s side of the vehicle, which they suggested could mean a left-hand drive vehicle was used in the abduction.

Indeed, Det Supt Bevan said:

“Furthermore April has been described as getting into the driver’s side of the vehicle. This may be because she got in with the driver or that it is left hand drive vehicle. We still believe that the van is grey or light coloured, but again these things can be affected by failing light and street lamps. The indications are that she got into the vehicle willingly… There’s nothing to suggest at this stage there was a struggle.”

Back to the Telegraph, which seeks to balance its report:

Ben Edwards, 22, a neighbour, said: “He is a nice guy, and absolutely brilliant with his son and daughter. He was always putting his kids first.” He said Mr Bridger was “into his cars” and was “never the type to cause any trouble whatsoever”.

UPDATE:

Police have issued a photo of Mark Bridger.

Mark Bridger’s left-hand drive Land Rover Discovery was seized at Dovey Autocraft garage in Machynlleth. Times reporter Tom Farmery says it was having work done on it.

UPDATE:

The Telegraph has news:

Mark Bridger, the man suspected of kidnapping five-year-old April Jones is a keen weapons collector who kept samurai swords and deactivated guns in his home, a neighbour has disclosed.

Keen? Hmmm. Go on:

Ben Edwards, 22, said Mark Bridger, 46, had rifles and handguns mounted on his wall. Mr Edwards said the older man told him the weapons had been “made safe” and showed him a firearms licence for a rifle he kept in a box. He said: “Mark also kept samurai swords on the table, he was a bit of a weapons collector and his style was military. He loved his Swiss Army knife, which he always carried around with him.”

Ex-soldier who lives in mid-Wales countryside has Swiss Army knife. The police may need more than that.

The Times:

Scott Williams, Mr Bridger’s son, joined in the search for April before his father’s arrest. Mr Williams said he had been estranged from his 46-year-old father for most of his life and had met him only a couple of months ago.

In a brief interview with Sky News, the teenager said: “I have searched [for April] since she has gone missing. How has this affected my family? It’s nothing to do with us really. He [my dad] has never been in my life. I have only met him on a couple of occasions like down the local pub — he’s been there a couple of times that I’ve been there.”

Such are the facts.

The Telegraph has more facts in place of news:

Another former neighbour said: “He has had a lot of women and goes from one to another.

“But he was well-liked. Looking back now, it seems like a lot of relationships but these things can happen in life. He’s never been single for long and has always got on with people even though this is a very small community; everyone knows everyone else’s business here.”

When Mr Bridger first arrived in Machynlleth, he told locals he had left the Army because of a back problem, but the Ministry of Defence said yesterday it had no record of him serving in any branch of the Armed Forces.

Or as the Telegraph puts it elsewhere:

April Jones: profile of former soldier Mark Bridger

Back to the biog:

After working as a lifeguard at the leisure centre that has now become the gathering point for April’s search parties, Mr Bridger worked as a porter at the Wynnstay Hotel in Machynlleth, where he had a reputation for being “the sort of bloke who would walk in and start talking about how he had done everything and bought the T-shirt”, according to one former colleague.

“Everything you had done, he had done better than you.”

UPDATE:

October 5: Mark Bridger has been arrested for murder, Dyfed Powys Police said.

OCTOBER 8:  MARK Bridger has appeared at Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court. He is charged with murdering April Jones, having kidnapped her in Machynlleth. He is also charged with abducting April, unlawful disposal and concealment of her body with intent to pervert the course of justice. Mark Bridger will appear at Caernarfon Crown Court on Wednesday.

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Graphic maps the search for missing April Jones locating the area of Machynlleth where she was last seen getting into a van



Posted: 2nd, October 2012 | In: Key Posts, News Comments (116) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink