1. ITV Report

Sister of murdered schoolgirl April Jones reveals killer also targeted her

Jazmin Jones is campaigning for tougher laws for sex offenders after the death of her sister April. Credit: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock

The sister of murdered schoolgirl April Jones has revealed her sister's killer also targeted her.

April was abducted from near her home in Powys, Wales and murdered by Mark Bridger in 2012 when she was just five-years-old.

April Jones' body has never been found.

Speaking on ITV's This Morning, Jazmin Jones, 21, described how she received a Facebook friend request from Mark Bridger a year before he killed her sister.

Jazmin said today she was 16 when she was contacted by Bridger through social media.

She said: “I think it was a year before [April's death] that, I got a friend request that said Mark Bridger and a profile picture and I messaged him and said ‘Who are you, why are you adding me?’

April Jones' body has never been found. Credit: Family photo

"And he said ‘I know your family, I’m friends with your dad, I’m friends with your mum.’

"And I said ‘But you don’t know me, who are you?’

“I sat down in the living room with dad and I said ‘Who is Mark Bridger?’ and he said ‘We do know him enough to say hi in the street, but that’s about it, he used to live in the same block as us.’ And I was like why is he adding me? He [dad] was like, ‘It’s a bit strange that a 30-something man is trying to add a young girl.’”

She continued: “The police came to the house and said we’ve found these photos of you and can you mark where he might of got them from and who is in the photo and where it is - and it was quite shocking.

“It was quite a shock. I was, kind of numbed to it. I didn’t know what to think or say. Seeing the photos,they’re off Facebook, completely off Facebook and I hadn’t even accepted him as a friend and thinking my profile was private as well was just shocking that he’d so easily got them.”

Mark Bridger was handed a whole-life term after being convicted of the murder of April Jones. Credit: Police Handout

The family are now calling on changes to the law for tougher sentences for sex offenders.

The family's petition for 'April's Law' reached over 100,000 and will be debated by MPs in Parliament.

Former detective Mark Williams Thomas who also appeared on the programme explained: “April’s Law is three elements: one it’s to keep child sex offenders on the register for life.

"Secondly it’s about talking to the authorities and particularly the social media and the internet providers to say you need to do more to stop child abuse material being available online and of course that’s because Bridger was not only looking at photographs of local girls but he was going and seeking out child abuse material.

"And then the third element which is in relation to sentencing and increasing the sentencing in respect to sex offenders.

“Some of those have been addressed by the government. They have increased sentencing guidelines from minor sentencing now to if you possess child abuse material it’s a minimum of five years sentence and it’s ten years for distributing or making."