Sister of murdered five-year-old April Jones shares shocking and disturbing new findings


by Emma Dodds |
Published on

What a monster

The country was shaken in October 2012 when five-year-old April Jones went missing near her home in Machynlleth, Powys in Wales.

The entire nation got behind the case, with even Prime Minister at the time David Cameron publicly appealing for information about April.

A local 46-year-old man named Mark Bridger was then found guilty of her abduction and murder almost nine months later.

Her body was never found. Bridger will never be released from prison.

April Jones (left) with her sister Jazmin (Credit: Facebook/ Our Little Welsh Princess April Jones) ©Facebook/ Our Little Welsh Princess April Jones

Today, April's older sister appeared on This Morning talking to presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield about the fact that she was almost a victim of her sister's murderer too.

A year before the terrible tragedy that befell her little sister, Jazmin Jones noticed that she had a Facebook friend request from Bridger.

She said: "I messaged him and said, 'Who are you, why are you adding me?' 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? My dad said, 'It's a bit strange that a 30-something man is trying to add a young girl.'"

Jazmin bravely appeared on This Morning today (Credit: ITV) ©ITV

After that, the family were shocked to find that the police came round to the house. She explained: "They said, 'We've found these photos of you, can you mark where he might have got them from and who is in the photo and where it is' - it was quite shocking.

"I was kind of numbed to it. I didn't know what to think or say. The photos are 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."

Jazmin went on to talk about the horrendous events during her sister's disappearance: "I was 16 when it happened. In the November I turned 17, I literally had to grow up so fast overnight."

Jazmin being supported by friends at her sister April's funeral (Credit: Getty Images) ©Getty Images

"It was a shock to me because my mum and dad were away, and even though we had family, I was kind of there just me and brother Harley looking after him."

Tragically, Jazmin spiralled and unfortunately turned to alcohol: "I turned 18 a year later and that's the normal 18 thing, go out get drunk. You can buy drinks, you can actually go to the pub and buy alcohol.

"At first, it was every weekend I'd go out get drunk, fall over, hurt yourself, but laugh about it the next morning. My friends didn't think anything of it because I was 18. But after a while they started to think this isn't right."

The murderer of April Jones, Mark Bridger (Credit: North Wales Police) ©North Wales Police

"I was going out a good couple of times a week. I could finish work in the afternoon go out and get drunk with my friends, go out at night.

"I just didn't want to know who I was. I didn't want to know any of it. People were like, why are you doing this? What would April think?

"At the time I was really angry. They were just trying everything to get through to me. I'd argue with mum and dad about it. Arguing with family friends. I've missed so many days that I just cannot remember at all. They were just like, 'What's April going to think?'

"I was so angry that they were using that against me."

April and Jazmin's mum Coral broke down in tears at the police appeal (Credit: Getty Images) ©Getty Images

Jazmin went on to talk about the massive impact that April's death had on her family: "My mum went through really, really bad depression. We could go days without seeing her because she was just sleeping, trying to deal with it.

"We kind of lost a mum as well in a way because she wasn't the mum she used to be.

"She's gotten so much better, she is trying to make up for it. She's there all the time trying to make up for the time she lost. When we were going through it, we felt like we'd not just lost a sister, we'd lost a mum as well and dad was having to play both roles. Then when dad was busy I was having to play roles for Harley, so we've finally got our mum back."

The Jones family at April's funeral (Credit: Getty Images) ©Getty Images

The family have petitioned to get a law passed called April's law, which would require all sex offenders to stay on the register for life, "no matter the crime." The petition now has over the required 100,000 signatures, and will be debated in parliament on March 13.

Jazmin said: "He had over 500 images on his computer of children. If he'd been caught with them before and if the internet was monitored better, police could have got to him then and he'd have been on the sex offender's register and there could have been a different outcome for us."

Former detective-turned-investigative journalist Mark Williams-Thomas explained on the show: "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 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 is in relation to sentencing and increasing the sentencing in respect to sex offenders."

Coral was distraught at the funeral of her five-year-old daughter (Credit: Getty Images) ©Getty Images

"The government have increased sentencing guidelines for possession of child abuse material - it's now a minimum of five years sentence and it's ten years for distributing or making.

"Now the massive problem with that is that the sentencing council say they want to increase the amount of community-based sentences and reduce the amount of custodial sentences.

"So whilst they've increased the sentencing time, they want to try and keep people out of prison. But I've said a number of times - if you possess child abuse material, it should be a minimum one-year sentence as a custodial sentence and it builds up from there.

"We have to be saying, very clearly, that any image of a child being abused is a real child having to undertake sexual abuse and that is the starting point.

"We've got to be saying to the rest of the public let's take these things seriously. Sex offending needs to be tackled."

We hope the Government do the right thing on March 13.

Have you been affected by this story? Have you or a loved one been the victim of abuse? Let us know over on Facebook and Twitter.

Read more like this:

April Jones family say ‘paedophiles deserve help’ to prevent offending

April Jones' gran on Madeleine McCann: 'Her parents won't want her to be found'

Jodie Marsh goes on a Twitter rant about the McCanns after This Morning interview

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us