April Jones trial: Blood on Mark Bridger’s floor

April Jones. Picture: PA
April Jones. Picture: PA
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A forensic scientist said evidence found in the home of Mark Bridger indicated that schoolgirl April Jones may have been lying on his living room floor “shedding blood”, a court heard today.

The five-year-old, who had cerebral palsy, vanished while playing on her bike near her home in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, on October 1 last year.

Today the trial of 47-year-old Bridger heard from forensic scientist Emma Howes, who told the jury about numerous drops of blood found in his cottage which matched April’s DNA.

She spoke particularly of a “drip trail” of blood stains found under the living room carpet and leading to the hallway.

Traces of April’s blood were also found in Bridger’s bathroom, Mold Crown Court heard.

Ms Howes said: “The blood from April Jones was present in various areas of the carpet. These stains were not readily visible on the top surface.

“The larger stain, near the fireplace, appeared to have soaked through from the top of the carpet to the underneath... This soaking and staining indicates that the carpet has been in prolonged contact with a source of April Jones’ wet blood.”

Bridger wept

She said it was “likely” this contact was from “April herself rather than some other object wet with her blood”.

“This staining is what I would expect if April herself had been lying in this area for some period of time shedding blood.”

Ms Howes said there was a “considerable amount of blood” on the carpet but it was her opinion that “attempts” had been made to “remove the blood present in this area”.

The court heard that a “drip trail” of blood appeared to lead from the lounge to the hallway and to the bathroom where more traces of April’s blood were found on the shower curtain, on the hot tap and on a washing machine.

Ms Howes said: “Someone or something wet with the blood of April Jones has moved across the carpet, dripping blood as they moved.”

Bridger wept in the dock when the court heard that there was inconclusive evidence regarding DNA which pointed to “sexual activity” with April.

‘Memory loss’

The little girl’s body has never been found despite the biggest search operation in British policing history.

The prosecution say Bridger, of Ceinws, snatched and murdered April in a “sexually motivated” attack.

The former abattoir worker denies abduction, murder and intending to pervert the course of justice by disposing of, concealing or destroying April’s body.

He says he accidentally killed April when he ran her over and accepts that he must have got rid of her body.

But he says he cannot remember how he disposed of the body because he was suffering memory loss caused by alcohol and panic.