April killer in sentence appeal bid

Mid Devon Star: Mark Bridger was jailed for life in May over the murder of five-year-old April Jones Mark Bridger was jailed for life in May over the murder of five-year-old April Jones

The man who murdered April Jones has launched a legal bid to overturn a ruling that he must spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Mark Bridger, 47, kidnapped the five-year-old before sexually abusing her, murdering her and disposing of her body.

Bridger, a former slaughterhouse worker, was given a whole-life sentence by trial judge Mr Justice Griffith Williams after he was convicted by a jury at Mold Crown Court . Fewer than 50 other criminals in the UK have been handed such sentences.

April's mother, Coral Jones, said her family continue to be "tortured" by Bridger.

She told the Sun newspaper: "It's disgusting. He's in prison where he belongs and he should stay there.

"He's just torturing my family with these legal battles.

"It's like he's taunting us, like he wants to show he's got the upper hand."

She added that Bridger had already tried to claim compensation following an attack by a fellow inmate while at the top-security Wakefield Prison in West Yorkshire earlier this year.

The Judicial Office confirmed that Bridger has lodged an application for permission to appeal against the whole-life term and this has been referred to the full court, with a hearing due in the new year.

Bridger, a father of six, snatched April near her home in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, on October 1 last year. Her body has never been found.

Sentencing Bridger in May, Mr Justice Griffith Williams said: ''There is no doubt in my mind that you are a paedophile, who has for some time harboured sexual and morbid fantasies about young girls.''

He said Bridger abducted April for a ''sexual purpose'' after he had been jilted by his girlfriend and then murdered the schoolgirl and disposed of her body to ''hide the evidence of your sexual abuse of her''.

Police believe Bridger dismembered April before dumping her body parts at various locations in the hills, rivers and forests surrounding his home in Cienws, Mid Wales, after traces of her blood were found all over his rented cottage.

The judge said: ''How you disposed of her body must remain a mystery. It will serve no purpose for me to speculate as to what happened but all the indications are that you burnt at least a part of her in the wood burner.''

Other criminals serving whole-life terms include Moors Murderer Ian Brady, who tortured and murdered children along with accomplice Myra Hindley, as well as murderer and robber Donald Neilson, known as the Black Panther, who shot and killed three sub-postmasters.

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