Mark Bridger appears at court charged with April's murder

A court artist's sketch of Mark Bridger in court. Photo: Priscilla Coleman

Mark Bridger appeared in court this morning accused of the abduction and murder of five-year-old April Jones.

Angry crowds gathered outside Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court for the hearing, shouting and throwing objects at the van transporting the 46-year-old.

Bridger faces charges of murdering April Jones, abduction and perverting the course of justice.

ITV News' Emily Morgan reports:

Bridger cried to himself as he spoke to confirm his name, age and address. He also confirmed he understood the charges. The 46-year-old appeared on the verge of tears throughout the hearing, which lasted around four minutes. He was remanded in custody in Manchester and will appear at Caernarfon Crown Court on Wednesday.

Media and members of the public gathered outside the court for Bridger's appearance. Credit: Press Association

John Hedgecoe was defending Bridger. Iwan Jenkins, district crown prosecutor, was prosecuting. Neither were called upon to speak during the brief hearing.

Also sitting at the back of the court was Superintendent Ian John, who has led the search for April. Afterwards he returned to Machynlleth to continue co-ordinating the on-going search operation.

A van carrying Mark Bridger leaves Aberystwyth Magistrates Court. Credit: Press Association

The 'Find April Jones' Facebook page is carrying a post believed to be from April's mum, Coral, urging people to keep looking for her daughter.

Missing five-year-old April Jones. Credit: Family handout

The post reads: "April has still not been found I am not giving up hope that she will come home, so please please keep looking for my baby girl April. She's our world. The whole family are in bits, as we don't know where she is."

Tonight the parents of April - Coral and Paul Jones - will be releasing a Chinese lantern from their garden in Machynlleth to remember their daughter.

A spokesman from Dyfed Powys police said: "They (April's parents) are asking friends and neighbours, and anyone else who cares to doso whether they live in Machynlleth, anywhere else in Wales or indeed theUnited Kingdom to light a small candle at the same time and join them inremembering their beautiful little girl April."

The search for April is continuing.