Suspect saw child porn on day April Jones vanished, British court hears

LONDON (AFP) - The man accused of murdering five-year-old British girl April Jones watched child pornography on the day of her disappearance and exchanged text messages with his ex-girlfriend over their break-up, his trial heard on Wednesday.

Mark Bridger, 47, watched a cartoon of a young girl being raped and also looked up child murders on his computer hours before April went missing, prosecutor Elwen Evans told a court in north Wales.

Outlining the prosecution's case on the second day of evidence, she said search terms discovered on Bridger's laptop included "British girl murdered in France", and "ten-year-old girls naked".

The schoolgirl's disappearance sparked one of the biggest police searches ever mounted in Britain and drew in hundreds of local people to scour the mountainous area, but her body has never been found.

The trial heard that blood and tiny bone fragments found at Bridger's cottage were a near-perfect match with April's DNA.

Showing the jury photographs of the living room, Ms Evans said the blood stains near the wood-burning stove, on the carpet and on the sofa were a "one-in-a-billion" match to April's DNA profile.

Bridger, an experienced slaughterman who once worked at an abattoir, denies abducting and murdering April as she played near her home in the small town of Machynlleth in mid-Wales on Oct 1 last year.

The prosecution said he went to great lengths to clean up the evidence of her murder, although police officers who went to his home had not realised the significance of his efforts at the time.

Ms Evans said: "When they went in there they stated that the house was uncomfortably hot, that there was a strong smell of detergent, and a smell of cleaning products, air freshener and washed clothes."

Bridger made a series of statements to police, but his final account was that he had run over April in a road accident and had put her, either dead or dying, into his Land Rover. However, Bridger insists he cannot remember what he did with the girl's body.

A young witness said April climbed willingly into Bridger's car.

Referring to photographs of Bridger's vehicle, Ms Evans said: "There is no evidence of a road collision, no evidence of blood here, torn fabric, or indication April Jones had been hit or run over. Nothing on the body work, the side, the wheels, to suggest impact with a body or a bicycle."

Earlier on the day that April vanished, Bridger exchanged text messages with his ex-girlfriend Vicky Fenner about their relationship that she had broken off, the court heard.

Bridger then allegedly texted his employer to ask for the day off and went to collect a benefit payment before returning home, viewing indecent images on his computer, looking at photos of local girls on Facebook and asking three women for dates on the social networking site.

The trial continues.