1. ITV Report

Mark Bridger said April had 'never' been to his house

The April Jones murder trial has heard the accused, Mark Bridger, tell police what would have gone through his mind if he was disposing of the body of the five-year-old schoolgirl.

Today, the jury at Mold Crown Court heard more extracts from Mr Bridger's police interviews. In them, he denied April Jones had ever been to his house, he denied sexually assaulting her, and denied having a sexual interest in children - despite what the prosecution describe as a library of indecent material found on his laptop.

Mark Bridger told the police that he drove backwards and forwards in his Land Rover with April dead beside him.

When Detective Constable Louise Thomas asked what he did with April's body he said he'd been through this in his mind hundreds of times.

He said he wouldn't have burned the five-year-old, put her in the river or in a bin because that, he said, would be disgusting.

The defendant has said he accidently knocked over April Jones while driving near her home.

DC Thomas asked if April Jones had ever been to his house, and Mark Bridger replied "Never, never."

Told there was blood on his bathroom wall which gave a full DNA profile of April, he replied "The only explanation I have is that there is a trace of blood on my hands."

She asked if the blood was there because April was assaulted in the bathroom, and he replied "Not at all. Not as I recollect."

Mr Bridger told police that April had never been to his home in Ceinws, near Machynlleth.

DC Thomas explained to Mr Bridger it would be the last interview she conducted with him.

Asked "did you sexually assault April?", he replied "No."

"Did you suffocate her?" "No."

"Did you use a sharp weapon?" "No."

"Did you attempt to clean up?" "No."

"How and why did you sexually assault April?" "I did not sexually assault April", he replied.

Court heard transcripts of police interviews conducted by Detective Constable Louise Thomas.

The public gallery was cleared, apart from April's parents Coral and Paul Jones, and the press and jury were shown indecent images downloaded and stored on Mark Bridger's computer.

The prosecution say the material amounts to a library, including images of torture and corpses. In the police interview, Mr Bridger denied having a sexual interest in children, or gaining pleasure from the graphic images. He said he was researching breast development to help his own daughter.

He also said he had written to internet companies to complain about indecent images online.

He told police about having problems with sexual performance himself, due to alcohol.

Mark Bridger told police he was researching to understand how his own daughter would develop. Credit: Dyfed-Powys Police

In the police interviews, DC Thomas told Mark Bridger that there was no evidence to support his claim that he had run over April and at the end of the interviews he was charged, five days after April went missing.

Inspector Gareth Thomas told the court about the scale of the search for April.

The court also heard from Dyfed-Powys Police Inspector Gareth Thomas, who coordinated the efforts to find April. He told the jury that, on the night she disappeared, it was a "hasty" search with "all-hands-on-deck", but then progressed into a full systematic search which became the largest in British police history.

The fire service, RNLI, coastguard, dog handlers and professional volunteers were all involved in a six-month operation, from October through to April.

The River Dyfi was searched on three different occasions by three different teams, and sonar technology used.

Asked by prosecutor Elwen Evans QC about his confidence in the search operation, Inspector Thomas replied "I'm extremely confident if he had put her in any of those areas we would have found her."

Sonar equipment was used in the search of the River Dyfi.

Mark Bridger denies abduction, murder and intending to pervert the course of justice.

The prosecution case will draw to a close tomorrow.

April Jones went missing on 1 October last year, and has still not been found. Credit: Family photograph

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