The April Jones trial has started(369 Posts)
The trial of Mark Bridger for the abduction and murder of April Jones plus some other charges has started today. From what I've read of the initial statements given by the prosecution, it's clearly going to be a very distressing case.
My thoughts are with all in court including the jury but most especially with April's parents who are in court. I don't know how they can bear it.
those poor parents....don't know how they can bear it either
this only seems like yesterday it happened too
Just watched this briefly on the news outlining the charges and evidence. Literally had me in tears as I have a dd age 5. The evidence mentioned sounds much worse than what was suggested in the media last year
I just hope they find out where she is. It's so sad.
Her poor parents.
The evidence looks really distressing
It's desperately sad, isn't it? I'm amazed that none of these details got leaked to the press - I expect there was an injunction but there wasn't even a hint about it. Awful.
I too have a daughter who was 6 last week. Unbearable is the only possible description.
Unbearable. I just cannot imagine
There aren't words. Horrific only just touches it.
haven't heard these details yet. So sad. The poor family, nightmare.
My heart goes out to her family, so distressing for then.
read it now. Sounds like the worst they would have feared for her.
It's not necessarily being 'respectful to the bastard' it's about not prejudicing a fair trial. How awful would it be if someone guilty of a terrible crime walked free because of speculation on the internet rendering a fair trial impossible?
yes agree Edam, circumspection v important
I have just read the Telegraph piece, and yes, Fleecyslippers, horror here too
Would the poor little thing's parents have been made aware of these details prior to today?
The details on the BBC website are just horrific
How her parents can sit and listen to that I just don't know. It must be hellish. My heart aches for them. And also for the jurors, they will see and hear things that may haunt them forever.
Just so tragic. I hope justice is done for little April.
It really is horrific and it's only the opening speech. God her poor family.
I would have thought so Rooney because someone posted them on the internet in October and they were then quickly removed.
oh thanks Lottie. I am so glad that this stuff wasn't leaked properly and so put in jeopardy the chance of a trial.
My heart goes out to them. How bloody strong must they be to bear this.
I would be careful of any judgments made on here while a trial is in progress
Nehru, should we report the thread - I'm not sure what we are Ok to say and what we're not.
colin hatch was murdered in prison by the prisoner who also attacked Huntley...hatch haunted me for years....he murdered an 8 yr old boy. worked on the case and can never forget the horrific details. you just cant
This needs deleting.
Don't think the whole thread needs to go, just some posts.
We're sure nobody on here wants to prejudice the trial.
Please be very careful not to speculate about guilt.
Oh good lord let people express their anger!
People cannot prioritise expressing their anger over getting justice, Animation.
But animation we have to be careful, he is presumed innocent til the end of the trial when the jury returns his verdict. It would be awful if anything said here harmed him getting a fair trial.
Although I didn't speculate on his guilt my deleted post, I don't think.
If we cannot express outrage this whole thread might as well be deleted as it seems disingenuous to only say poor parents .. poor little girl .. poor parents ..
What's the point?
It's horrific & also bought tears to my eyes, having a young daughter.
As George rightly points out, we have to be very careful about what we write.
I can't see any good coming of this thread TBH.
We can all read the news reports. We are all upset about the details within them, and the fact that April has gone and her parents are suffering in the most unimaginable way.
Now justice needs to be done, and part of that, in this online world, is responsible members of the public not putting stuff online which could prejudice the case. See it as your duty, as those poor 12 in the jury have to do their duty.
Animation - it's natural that people want to speak about the trial because it is an emotional subject.
What you are not allowed to do, legally, is prejudice a fair trial with comments about the defendant and their involvement.
If you can't differentiate perhaps you should step away from the thread.
The strength that Aprils parents are showing by attending the trial is astounding.
In their position I don't think I could bear to be there for purely selfish reasons.
I wish them continued strength throughout this horrific trial.
I think I only commented on my own naivety and horror at the evidence coming out in the trial.
Mark Bridger has conceded he is "probably responsible" for the death of April Jones but has denied her abduction and murder.
If he is only 'responsible' I still feel outrage.
I think this whole thread should be pulled if legally we can't say as much.
And for the record I was careful to refer to what the defendant has 'allegedly' done as reported on the BBC news that I read.
Understand the need not to speculate though.
Perhaps the time to post about this would be after the trial is concluded...I for one am unsure what I can and cannot say (evidently as I've already been deleted - sorry)
I'm going to step away, there's nothing we can say or do to make it alright...just wish to state my massive sympathy to all the people who have lost a beautiful little girl.
'people want to speak about the trial because it is an emotional subject' and that's why I started the thread. Because I read the account of the early stages and wanted to speak about my reaction to it. That prejudices nothing. I have no inclination at all to discuss the defendant. Clearly some have as I've come back and this thread is like Ukip's manifesto - full of holes.
I strenously resist the notion the whole thread should go. This story is in the news and we should be able to refer to it here.
Northern I am with you, it is something a lot of people feel very very upset about and thus wish to discuss - but the problem is not many of us are legally trained and so we can't rely on ourselves not to say something that could damage the chances of a fair trial, if that's the thinking...sorry not much use but I understand why you started it. I'm glad someone did. Just...no one knows what they can write.
I did ask MNHQ to explain what was allowed but I don't think their post (sorry Helen) covers this issue in enough detail.
Oh and a whole thread of sympathy for the parents would be fine by me. I can see my daughter is playing in our garden as I type. Their suffering is beyond my worst nightmares.
I think you've unintentionally created a very provocative thread here NorthernLurker.
It is impossible to keep jurors away from the internet these days. What they can read from news reports are facts, as presented in the case they are sitting through.
What we should all be protecting them from is our reaction and speculation. Only theirs is important.
Although to be fair I'm sure opinion and speculation is all over the net, as a parenting site I think we should not be adding to it.
Apologies, I didn't think I'd said anything that could cause a problem. I read it twice, to make sure. Still, I will avoid commenting further for all the aforementioned reasons.
I didn't realise that it could prejudice a trial if you mention things that have already been said to the jury and which are not speculation...?
I just don't see the points of these threads.
Tricoteuses all of you.
I think that is unfair Nehru - there are threads about every trial! There was a massive one about Amanda Knox. People want to know what happened and why because it is so incomprehensible. It's human nature.
I have just read about some of the details and evidence and feel sick.
Poor poor family
Well read the paper.
Don't start salivating over every detail dressed up as concern with the "oh ill hug my kids tighter cliche"
It's voyeiristic and unbecoming.
If you were Aprils mum would you like to read Pret people poring over the agony your kid experienced ?
You don't see the point but you still bothered to make your ill-informed comment Nehru?
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Well it's the competitive coldness of some posters that I find rather horrid. Any feeling human being should be touched by what's been heard today. It's not being a tourist to comment on that.
Nobody even mentioned what the details were...
" People want to know what happened and why because it is so incomprehensible. It's human nature. "
Lottie I agree.
Think if we can't talk about this case in a balanced fashion whereby the defendant is mentioned then we might as well wait until after the verdict.
BeerTricks - so do you think a thread about any trial is inappropriate?
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Think if we can't talk about this case in a balanced fashion whereby the defendant is mentioned then we might as well wait until after the verdict.
I think that would be very sensible.
I am not 'salivating'. But I can't not be interested. This is every parents nightmare. Someone known to a child, who gains their trust and who might not be what they seem.
I do want to know what makes these people tick, how they can be identified how they can be stopped.
If you find this kind of thing 'distasteful' you have every right not to engage. It baffles me why you would take time to come onto a thread like this and trumpet your distaste. The only reason I can think is you want to assert your own perceived moral superiority.
The idea that of you disagree with a thread you shouldn't say that is odd. On the World Wide Web.
Not ghoulish or voyeuristic.
An expressions of horror at an appalling. And an expression of sympathy and support for a family living through the worst nightmare.
To be failed to be moved by this case and what has emerged in court today suggests a real coldness.
Or suggests that we believe in the legal system.
Oh heck - that's me outed then
'provocative, salivating, voyeuristic, mawkish, distasteful, tricoteuse and grief tourist'.
Yup - that'll out me to anyone who knows me. Or wait a minute - no it won't. Because it's bollocks.
You are not merely disagreeing with a thread. You are making moral judgments on those who don't agree with you.
You have every right to do that, just seems a waste of your time.
Yeah I don't like moral judgement postings either - they're a real heart sink.
And discussing what the prosecution have already said in open court can not prejudice a fair trial. The jury will be told NOT to read stuff on Internet or in papers. They must consider only evidence raised in court.
I think it would be sensible for this thread to remain as I assume potential for another to be started if this one's removed. At least it is clear this is a subject to be referenced with extreme care.
I hope April's parents are told where April's body is so they can lay her to rest peacefully and with love.
The jury will be told NOT to read stuff on the Internet
Doesn't mean they won't. Imagine if someone on the jury is a MNetter?
If the jury won't take their responsibilities seriously, they may find themselves in prison. I don't see why I should censor myself because a juror may be too stupid to understand his or her role.
But again, if the discussion is about what has been said in court, what precisely is the problem?
There are 9 women on the jury. Not at all beyond the realms of possibility that one or more uses this site (or the men of course) so while I think the thread should remain, let's all take care with what we post as I don't imagine anyone wants this trial to be needlessly prejudiced or even for that possibility to be opened up in appeal.
And yawn at the 'don't see the point of these threads' crowd. If there had to be a point to internet discussion, most of MN could be shut down right now. Yes of course you can have your say but so can others. As long as the site guidelines are observed and the law isn't broken, people can select whatever topics they wish to discuss. At least it's not 'amusing' trolling by people who should have better things to do with their time.
'If you were Aprils mum would you like to read Pret people poring over the agony your kid experienced ?'
No one knows how she must feel. None of us can guess. But I think, when bad things happen to people, they don't necessarily object to genuine, well meant sympathy coming from complete strangers.
I don't understand the problem with that. And I think people will be interested in the details, but most of the posts here seem to be expressing horror and sadness for the people who are actually involved.
I think that could be said to be one of Mumsnet's purposes - support, I suppose. Even if her family never see these posts, we're contributing perhaps to a wider sympathetic vibe all over the internet.
As long as we stick to the sympathy that is.
Maybe if any good can come from a thread like this, it is the reminder that yet again, in a horrific, unimaginable crime against a little child, and god, the evidence heard today is grim, the accused prime suspect is someone that she and the family knew.
I believe the majority of people are still far too hung up on the prospect of random strangers abducting their child and are not vigilant enough when it comes to people they know, or sort of know, or know of, or have met through a friend.
Child internet porn and abuse is rife through ALL walks of life, GPs, teachers, clergy, policemen, babysitters, other parents on the playground at hometime - you can never be too careful about who you allow your child to know. I am not saying there were any warning signs in this case at all, just that we all need to be so so careful. The law of averages says we probably ALL know someone who is not what they seem. Its not rude to question people, to be vigilant, to monitor their behaviour, to say no to their friendly gestures, to report ANY suspicions when something does not seem right or makes you uncomfortable.
At the same time, when we see heartbreaking stories like this or the death of the Indian girl who was raped, we need to remember that there are far more decent people than bad in the world.
I sat for a long time after seeing the 1 o'clock news. Just thinking about her parents and what it must be like for them. It's Desperately sad.
Her poor parents & family, so sad
I would hope that anyone who has he intelligence to operate a computer will listen and understand when the judge tells her what her duties are and the penalties for breaching that.
If not, the problem isn't with the Internet, its with that juror.
I'm with Nehru. Collective grief amongst strangers gives me the creeps.
I think its more creepy to not have any compassion or sorrow for the family tbh...
I agree with pumpkin. She was a little girl. I remember my daughter at that stage. If feeling sad and sick is mawkish and 'creepy' then so be it. It is how I feel. I am not going to make it my facebook status but nor am I am going to feel ashamed of this emotion.
If that creeps people out, by all means go and do something else.
Who on earth said they have no compassion or sorrow? Certainly not me. I just don't like the Diana-esque emotional incontinence that these threads encourage.
indeed pumpkin, stories like this should touch all our hearts, and for many of us the only "outlet" for the anger, sadness, shock, disgust, compassion -is to share those feelings with others online.
my thoughts and prayers are with Aprils family, her school friends and teachers and all those in her community who are still living with this nightmare. I hope they find some strength and peace knowing they are the subject of such an outpouring of human compassion. How awful it would be if no one cared.
It's interesting they are admitting his computer browsing history as evidence of a motive when the same was excluded from the Joanna Yeates trial because it was thought it could be prejudicial. Any ideas why they decided it was OK here, but not in the JY case?
Well this is an extraordinary and horrific thing that happened here to this little girl. It's hard not to want to say on a discussion board like this what do make of that? And what do you make of his story that he ran the girl over??
We've established that it's sensible not to discuss the defendant's alleged actions and motives but bloody hell - very bloody bizarre turn of alleged events!
Spero You may be surprised to learn that you are not excluded from jury service because you are stupid.
Stupid people do end up on juries. In fact, I'd go so far as to say in any random group of 12 people you are going to get a stupid one.
All it would take is for stupid juror to go into the jury room one day over the next few weeks and spout something they have read on the net in front of a clerk, and they'd have to have a retrial. This is why if you sent opinion on an ongoing trial to a letters page of a newspaper they wouldn't print it.
Of course people are going to want to talk about something so shocking and sad, but the problem for MN here is that it is contempt of court to publish anything which might prejudice a trial - including discussion of evidence, guesses as to guilt etc. Letting stuff stay on the website counts as 'publishing' and it's strict liability, which means you don't have to have INTENDED to publish it or intend to affect the trial. It also doesn't matter whether it actually affects the trial, just whether it has the potential to.
So MN will need to delete anything which may possibly do any of those things.
This is only the case while proceedings are 'active' - once there is a verdict you can say what you like.
I guess it's down to the judge to decide what will be admitted in evidence *FairPhyllis"
I am not surprised that some jurors are stupid. But for a trial of this nature I hope there will be some care in how they are selected.
But maybe I am stupid, I can't see how this discussion is in anyway prejudicial to the trial.
It seems to be more about a few people who think they are morally superior to others in the way they do (or do not) express grief.
Jolly well done to them.
In the JY case, I don't think there was a very strong link between what he was viewing and the circs of the crime so my case is the judge excluded it as more prejudicial than probative. But I haven't done any crime in a longtime so maybe off base.
But from what I have read of prosecution opening the link here is very strong.
Spero There can be no 'care' taken on selecting juries. It has to be random.
After the recent fiascos in jury trials I hope they are ascertaining at the outset that the jury is prepared to consider the evidence and convict if necessary
I'm sure MNHQ wouldn't delete posts unless there was a good reason.
I had a think about this and obviously the reason we shouldn't talk about the evidence is that we will only have heard bits of what the jury has. To to focus on those could in theory prejudice the case.
Maybe it's best not to discuss this until after verdict then.
"I had a think about this and obviously the reason we shouldn't talk about the evidence is that we will only have heard bits of what the jury has. To to focus on those could in theory prejudice the case."
No it couldn't.
If that were the case there would be no court reporting at all.
The duties and obligations of jurors are explained to them before the trial starts. So hopefully those who object to convicting people will then pipe up and can be released.
People who object to convicting people should be represented though, just as people who decide that a defendant is guilty even before hearing the evidence.
AFAIK, you can't conscientiously object to jury service.
The duties and obligations of jurors include not searching the internet for information about the case or the defendant - someone was sent down for contempt of court for googling to see if the defendant they were trying had any previous (think it was last year).
Horrific that it looks as if the reason no body has been found is that hers was destroyed - if the prosecution are correct, of course.
You cannot sit on a jury if you have moral objections to convicting people. I think this was made pretty clear by the prison sentences handed out to last couple of jurors who tried that argument.
How can you have a moral objection to convicting people in general? Is it actually about objecting to prison as a form of punishment, if you know that will probably be the outcome? Otherwise it just doesn't make sense to me.
I don't understand it either. Surely any juror selected for a distressing case could 'get out of it' by claiming such beliefs?
I know a juror can be done for searching for details online. But the possibility of this happening would not stop every juror doing it. As I said before, stupid people are not exempt from jury service, and neither are dishonest people as long as they have no previous convictions.
But if it is more important to you to tittle tattle about the case online rather than not jeopardise a case (and therefore prolong the agony for ALL those involved), so be it. Because it would be the juror's fault for reading it so that's ok.
"But if it is more important to you to tittle tattle about the case online rather than not jeopardise a case (and therefore prolong the agony for ALL those involved), so be it."
Big fat to that nasty bit of moralising.
The information about the trial that has been reported today is not "tittle tattle" FFS.
And talking about it has zero chance of prejudicing the trial.
You'll have to come up with another reason why people can't talk about a public trial as it happens.
It's not prejudicial to talk about the trial, however much you disagree with it.
Giving opinion on events reported can prejudice a trial.
Well your conscience is clear Growlithe, so you can sleep easy at night! Gosh, I wish I had your moral courage and strength of character.
But alas I don't, so I will continue to discuss information which was raised in open court and widely reported in all forms of media.
What a naughty little scamp I am. Watch as our legal system crumbles.
Doesn't take much moral courage and strength of character to not gossip.
I think you need to figure out what the word "gossip" means.
Hint: it does not mean talking about current events
If anyone were actually gossiping about the case, we would have a problem.
Phyllis, perhaps it depends on whether the material itself is illegal.
Which is probably why there were so many holes in this thread yesterday.
Even if you yourself aren't gossiping or giving opinion, you are (perhaps unintentionally) encouraging others to do so.
Why would you do that? Why can't you just read the BBC Website on the progress of the case without coming on here and regurgitating it? As others have said, what's the point?
Thank yor being our conscience Growlithe!
Will you be staying to police this thread?
I am not encouraging anybody to do anything.
"Why can't you just read the BBC Website on the progress of the case without coming on here and regurgitating it?"
I can read what I like, and discuss it if I like.
That's why we have public trials.
I find your attempts to stop people talking about public information morally reprehensible.
What is the point?
Coming here telling people they should not discuss information they are perfectly entitled to talk about does nobody any good.
Other than to give yourself a little pat on the back for stopping the ignorant masses "gossiping"?
If you like public trials, go and attend one. Don't forget your knitting.
"If you like public trials, go and attend one. Don't forget your knitting."
I don't need to attend, there are court reporters that convey the information to me.
But lovely that you think the only reason to have public trials is so people can "gossip" about them (and you can look down them for doing do).
Your pretence that your pointless moralising has anything to do with keeping the trial going is laughable.
You just don't want the proles getting ideas above their station. And you want to make sure everyone knows you are better than them.
Oh give it a rest! This whole moral superiority thing is very tiresome. I've rarely been on the receiving end of as much implicit abuse as on this thread - and for what? For saying that I've seen a story reported in the news today which staggers me. There are parents who should have a little girl like mine rattling round their house looking for her shoes and instead they are attending court and I feel desperately sad for them.
(That's Growlithe give it a rest not Athing)
Well have a think about those parents then, and protect the dignity and integrity of the case.
"Well have a think about those parents then, and protect the dignity and integrity of the case."
My eyes won't roll far enough to express my reaction to this pomposity.
We are so lucky to have had so much of your time when there are so many pointless threads with people discussing things they find interesting all over MN.
In fact, the whole Internet could really do with your services.
Don't let us keep you.
Stop trivialising it will you.
Growlithe check the thread, Nothing I've said has been deleted. What Athing accurately describes as your pomposity in your postings is indeed staggering.
I don't think I'm being pompous. In fact, I said upthread that you've unintentionally created a very provocative thread. What you have just said only reinforces that. Nothing you've said has been deleted. But lots of things other posters said on the thread have been deleted.
May I suggest that those of us who wish to discuss the case as reported, which we are free to do, just carry on and ignore posts intended to derail the thread?
For anyone who's on Twitter @stevenmorris20 is the Guardian's reporter covering the case and will tweet from the trial.
I agree with Snazzy. Growlithe has made her point, no point keep engaging with her. It's not illegal to discuss the trial and it will be discussed whether some people like it or not.
Oh wow, you are following the case on Twitter?
Twitter seems a bit unnecessary tbh
does any of us need to know this stuff instantly? It is horrible to read about. Possibly valid to want to know, but really, to be following on twitter is maybe a bit overinvested
still not going to judge, just...sad about it all
You don't want to be on twitter, don't be.
But if you want to judge the nature and extent to which I chose to engage with social media, don't expect me to be interested in, or thank you for your opinion.
Unless of course you can show me your shiny badge confirming your appointment as Thread Police.
anyway.....back to the thread
how many days is this expected to take?
The jury were warned to expect 6 weeks. Of course there's two days lost due to Bank Holidays and I heard on the radio yesterday that the judge for this case has also just finished the case of the woman from Prestatyn who set fire to a pushchair in a hallway killing 5 people in the flat above. She has been found guilty but sentencing was deferred because he had to start this case. So there will be some time out for that as well.
I wonder if Bridger will give evidence in his defence.
With a defence like his, I doubt he will be giving evidence. I would leave it to the prosecution - they have to prove beyond reasonable doubt he is guilty, he doesn't have to prove anything.
Hi Spero nice to see you again. Note that our mutual "friend" JH has not been seen on MN for ages - we can only hope he has other fish to fry!
My god this thread is causing some upset isn't it - I haven't read all the posts but just on this page there are grown women squabbling and trying to score points - playgrounds come to mind. Most posters won't know that you are a Barrister because you always keep that quiet - think it's ok to say it as you have made it known on some of the other threads and I know your specialism is family law.
Re your comment above about evidence. Presumably the defendent will have legal representation. What do you think about what line counsel will be taking on his behalf, as if I understand it, the defendent has admitted to running over the child and then his mind going blank. Could he not be cross-examined by the prosecution, and likewise could counsel for the defendent cross examine any of the prosecution witnesses?
Ian Huntley gave evidence with a similar defence, so who knows. You are quite right of course that it is for the prosecution to prove the case, beyond all reasonable doubt.
The defendant has the right to remain silent Nana.
Purl I think Growlithe.
Spero, as I said I'm not judging and I can see why you have an investment in the proceedings if the PP is correct about your line of work. Totally understandable.
I'm sorry Rooney - I don't participate in their hobby myself.
No no I understand, just being a pedant..I can't help myself.
It's always good to see someone who is being smug and parading their superiority making a mistake. Pearl one indeed! (We all make mistakes, of course, including those people busy telling everyone else how far from perfect they are...)
Glad to see you've dragged your eyes away from the case to criticise my knitting skills Edam.
Seriously don't engage, it's just not worth it.
The jury will be visiting Bridger's house tomorrow, apparently.
I didn't mean to make anyone look daft, just can't abide something being spelt wrong
I am kind of on the fence here, I don't think any of us means harm - I can see that Growlithe is frustrated, everyone else is feeling pretty horrified, wanting to talk about it...we just have to be calm and respectful of each other's perspective if at all possible. And most of all try not to prejudice anything.
I haven't done any crime for ages but I am very interested in the whole role of the jury and now decisions are made about what evidence the jury can or can't see. I think we should trust the jury more or what is the point of them? I think if you have looked at certain things on the Internet that are even vaguely linked, then the jury should know this and they should decide what weight they put on the evidence.
And I would be in favour of allowing juries to make adverse inferences if you fail to give evidence on your behalf.
but Spero forgive me asking, we're not in charge of what should be the law - as it stands now do we not have to abide by contempt rules, however iniquitous it might be?
If I have said anything that is in contempt of court, report me and my post will be deleted.
I don't want to jeopardise a trial or go to prison. I am a bit hacked off that people with apparently very little understanding of what constitutes contempt of court are appointing themselves guardians of this thread and my morality too.
I wasn't suggesting that you had, for a moment.
Rooney I think those of us who want to discuss the case have expressed by now our intent to avoid saying anything that would jeopardise the trial. I am also sure MN will be watching the thread closely to delete anything that might do so. The fact that there have been deletions but the thread remains shows that they don't have a problem with the discussion itself.
I was only saying that whatever we think should be allowed, it doesn't change the fact that in law at present we still need to be careful.
You're right I have no legal knowledge.
that's why I was asking you.
Sorry, I thought you were suggesting I hadn't respected laws around contempt of court - with which I agree.
To jeopardise this trial would be awful - terrible for the parents and a massive waste of taxpayers money.
I don't 'do' crime so I am not an expert on what does constitute contempt in these circs but I am pretty confident that a general discussion about criminal proceedings or reference to facts already in public domain cannot possibly be contempt.
I think we all want to see justice served and will be careful not to write anything that is in contempt of court (and people should report anything if they think that it is prejudicial).
What I object to is being told we're not allowed to discuss the case at all, that is incorrect. People may not agree with that, but it's just not worth repeating the same point over and over - I feel that is almost on goading territory and I am not going to engage with it, and I think others would be best not to either. By all means make your point, but to keep on and on is just an attempt to derail the thread. The best thing is therefore to ignore.
Ah Ok. So sorry for causing the misunderstanding. Thankyou for clarifying a bit too.
Good point well made about going on and on about the same point of view. I'll shut up now, and get off my high horse now, as I have taken things too far. I felt goaded too.
There is of course interest in the case, especially on a parenting site. I feel very sorry for the jurors, you would never choose to be in that position. And it is unrealistic to expect someone to be offline for the duration of a long case with the way we use the internet in our leisure time these days. It would take enormous self control for a normal person who was so heavily involved in the court case not to read anything about it IMO.
I myself requested my posts be withdrawn on the original thread when April went missing, I had not considered the fact that anything said may prejudice a trial. Maybe I ended up a bit trigger happy with my own posts, they hadn't been deleted by MNHQ. So I do actually recognise a need to talk about this, and sorry if I've made light of that need.
And for the record, I have not and will not report anything on this thread.
Anticipating the outcome of a criminal trial or mounting an organised campaign for a particular verdict or discussing previous convictions is likely to be contempt - basically anything that is deemed to interfere with the proper administration of justice.
Growlithe thanks, that's very gracious of you. And I share your concern for the jury, who are having to consider some awful things.
Spero, do juries in cases like this get offered counselling afterwards?
Appreciate the sentiment growlithe.
I dont think juries get counselling but someone else might know more.
My criminal pupil master used to have horrific photos to look at - he wouldn't let me see most of them. He got no counselling.
I still don't understand why a picture of an autopsy helped him prepare his defence... It must be one of the wort parts of jury duty in murder cases. My dad had a very old book on forensic medicine which I found as a teenager and some of the photos haunt me still.
I got out of jury service two years ago as was due to give birth however I did comment to dh that it must be so damaging for jurers to hear awful cases. Life changing I'd imagine for many.
As a sw I've heard some pretty horrific stories but this really is painful to hear.
Respect to you for your last post Growlithe. I felt goaded too! Clearly this emotive and difficult situation has got us all somewhat het up. May I hand round restorative cups of ?
I would like to know what support is provided for the jury as well. Do yuou get excused future service if you have a particularly upsetting case or have I imagined that?
I've heard of judges excusing jurors from future cases after being on complex or distressing cases before. Don't know fully how it works though.
If you are selected for jury duty and want to get out of it, can't you just say that you've read so much about the case that you don't feel you can be impartial. Or (naughty suggestion) that you have met the defendant or witnesses ... even if you haven't, would anybody know otherwise?
I think lying to get out of jury duty is probably a crime too!
I'd be honoured to do jury duty but I'm such a fuckwit I doubt they would let me near a court.
How about if the case is triggering for you? Surely that's a reason.
It was awkward to get out if it tbh even though I'd have potentially given birth during the trial. It was also in a court about twenty miles away and I had to be there about 8 which meant no childcare for dd1 and not getting home until gone 6. We also share a car and public transport would have meant three buses and leaving at god knows what time.
Thank goodness I was pg
NorthernLurker my first suggestion doesn't involve lying, it was a serious thought.
I had the misfortune to do jury service, and frankly I was horrified at the way some of the jurors behaved. It was a case of "perverting the course of justice" and one of the witnesses for the prosection was a young girl, and counsel for the defence "wound her up" by doing what barristers do (attempt to represent their client )and she started to get angry in the witness box and saying things like "so you're calling me a liar are you - well you're the liar not me" and the poor girl simply couldn't handle cross examination by someone like a barrister.
I have knowledge of being cross examined in child care cases as I was a social worker for a LA and an independent social worker for many years, and the golden rule is not to let barristers "wind you up" and answer to the Judge, and not to the barrister asking the questions. I felt really sorry for this young girl, because I could see she was hopelessly out of her depth with the cross examination (which can be intimidating and tiring - I was often cross examined for up to 3 hours in parenting assessments!)
One of the jurors started saying as we were filing out of the court room that the defendent was innocent and "that girl" didn't know what she was talking about. Once inside the room, several people started to talk at the same time and it was mayhem. I suggested that it might be best if we spoke one at a time (!) and in the end my role was almost to "chair" the discussion because the majority of them were continuing to talk over each other. It was a "not guilty" verdict but myself and another woman asked permission for a note to be given to the Judge to the effect that we thought the jury were influenced by the young girl's performance in the witness box, and this of course lent weight to the fact that they found the defendent not guilty. To be honest I didn't know what I thought by the end - it was just mayhem the whole time, and in the end we all agreed. I was left feeling really concerned about the whole adverserial system (as I so often have in family law) as courts are intimidating places for people unused to them and barristers will of course try their utmost to trip witnesses up, to do right by their client.
Sorry for digressing. I just hope the Jury in the April Jones case are better than the one I experienced. I would certainly hate to be tried by a Jury. I think I am right in saying that they are conviction prone.
I can't bear this. I can't bear thinking about that poor little girl and how she died. I'm so sad. I don't live far from Mach and if it happened there it could happen anywhere.
I know Machynlleth a little from family holidays. It's a small close-knit community in a beautiful corner of Wales. Seems wrong, somehow, that such a horrible crime could happen in such a sleepy place. Of course that's rubbish, horrible crimes happen anywhere, but it does seem out of kilter in some way.
I think that's always the way Edam. Same for Dunblane and Soham
Ineed - it could happen anywhere but it hardly ever does. The biggest risks for our children are traffic accidents and illness. However knowing that doesn't make this any easier to hear about. I went to the supermarket yesterday and all the papers have April on the front page - with some awful headlines. Perhaps it's because I have a daughter that age but it is terrifying.
That is what upsets me so much - that these cases have reverberations far beyond the original crime - everyone gets so upset and fearful that the freedom of all our children gets more curtailed. The harm these people do is massive, not just for the family but for all of us.
I don't know what the police can or are doing to monitor internet access of the really vile stuff but there must be a better way to find and prosecute people who habitually access child pornography sites.
I have heard (don't know where) so may not be a reliable source that child abduction by strangers has not increased since the 1950s. I do know however that most children are abused/murdered by people who are known to them (parents, step-parents, relatives, close friends or someone living nearby) However I think the fear of "stranger danger" is still one of the prime reasons cited by parents for not allowing their children the freedom that children had in the past. I grew up in the 50s and so was free as air - in the 1970s 80% of children walked to school on their own.
The internet is a mixed blessing isn't it, because it can be so useful, helpful, enjoyable even and must make a huge difference to houseboud people. However it also of course provides paedophiles with the ability to indulge themselves in accessing child pornography sites and keep in touch with others of their ilk.
The details that are coming out about the April Jones case are indeed truly shocking, even when reported in an unsensational way as possible in a quality newspaper, so I'm sure the tabloids are having a field day.
Think this thread has probably gone as far as it can now.
I think stranger abductions are rare, but the difficulty is that none of us know how safe people in our extended circles are, and of course there will be people our children trust because they know them, as was the case here.
lottieandmia yes, the extended circles thing is an issue. And it may be that it's harder to enforce stricter control over your children in a small friendly town because everyone knows everyone, etc, whereas in the mean streets of big cities (meant light-heartedly...) it is different.
Spero yes, surely it's about time there was a big push on getting the best computer brains around to work on identifying people who are accessing child porn online.
NanaNina I'd heard something similar but can't give a source for it. Of course it depends on the definition of 'known' too; nowadays people think they 'know' people who they've never met face-to-face but have corresponded with for months online.
I have also read that abductions by strangers have remained fairly constant at about ten a year since the 50s/60s and the sad fact is that children are most at risk of harm from their own parents.
But this kind of case is so horrible that it looms very large in our consciousness.
Yes, I had almost complete freedom to roam as a small child in the late 70s in a village in Yorkshire - was walking to school on my own (actually part of a gang of kids but not one organised by our parents) from the age of six.
I wouldn't let ds do that now because no other children do it, so it's not as safe. And there are more cars on the road, etc. etc. etc.
Re. cases like this - horrifying that the poor girl would have gone with him quite happy because he wasn't a stranger. Underlines the fact that teaching stranger danger is bad news, and it should be about personal safety - never going anywhere without checking with Mummy or Daddy it's OK, good touch and bad touch and all that stuff.
This is a really sad case and I think it is just human nature to want to understand and process news like this. I have a child the same age and everytime I walk past a newstand and see the increasingly horrible and graphic headlines screaming out I get the urge to cry. I don't think it is mawkish to have these feelings or that it is remotely comparable to the outpourings following Diana's death ...she was collectively mocked by the same people who then collectively grieved and she was a public figure etc... to compare the two is not appropriate.
This is just a child and whenever these horrible events happen to young children, yes, there is an expression of emotion from near and afar. stranger danger or someone you know...both are scary for different reasons. A lot of mothers are isolated and news like this can easily bring more fear and paranoia in. It is hard to remember (especially with the India cases too...) that there are good people in the world and that we should look for the helpers, the community that searched for her, the community that protest in India, the people who are outraged enough to do things about it, the police and jurors who will attempt to bring these cases to trial.
I do think that people who are traumatised by events like this in the news (and there are a lot of them...Facebook beheadings anyone?) should not feel ashamed of saying so. It is not about being grief tourists - although perhaps for some..however the feelings of horror would be the same if it was any child ...April was about as photogenic as any other child, and we haven't even seen pictures of the Indian children. http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Grief_tourism
..but perhaps about trying to reconcile that there are bad things happening everyday. Large scale tragedy and single targeted cruelty. It is hard to avoid news stories. And then what can be actively done? As the poster above mentioned, teaching our kids safety, saying a prayer for April's family if you are so inclined, giving to a children's safety charity (rather than sending flowers to nowhere) signing a petition,pushing for internet safety, talking to a friend about the fearful emotions, and yes, hugging your children. Too freakin right. And appreciating that your sense of outrage shows that you are human and not desensitised enough to shrug and say whatever...
I've been reading the tweets from the reporter who's in court and today they are questioning a 7 year old friend of Aprils. I can't help but think that a child this young is very unlikely to be a reliable witness and it's very unfair to subject them to cross examination (I know this is done sensitively etc). -I dread to think about the responsibility this child will feel in the future whatever the outcome.
It depends a lot on the child - much younger children have given evidence in criminal cases before. The evidence will presumably be pretty limited so hopefully the child won't be too traumatised. But I think its got to be done, its relevant evidence.
lboro, it sounds from the news reports as if the main evidence from April's friend was a pre-recorded interview with a friend, and that defence questioning was as careful as possible to avoid distressing the little girl.
I also dont understamd why some clever IT bod has not managed how to find and track acess to the vilest sites
Oh I know they are trying....but this keeps on happening
I cannot believe the defence... "I forgot" WTAF?
the verdict is due anytime now
This has been a sickening business from start to finish.
Thoughts to April's family.
How could he put the family through that ? I hope he "recovers" his memory to give them some sort of closure at least.
Some of his defence claims were outrageous, e.g. claiming the phrase "naked 5 year old girls" he typed into his search engine was a typo and meant to be "naked 15 year old girls." And the whole too drunk to remember was just....
Thank goodness, I am glad he has been found guilty.
Although I am shocked he confessed that he threw her body into the river
I'm delighted this vile excuse for a human being has been found guilty. I hope he now does the decent thing and 'remembers' what he did with her body.
I imagine his tariff will be set high too, to reflect the not guilty plea and also the tremendous web of lies he's built.
I am so glad this evil shit has been found guilty. Just hope he gets years, he should NEVER be allowed out again.
I feel for her parents so badly.
oh - has he confessed that he threw her in the river? I hadn't heard that.
I'm so pleased the jury were able to quickly agree on a verdict. BBC reports court staff, police and prosecutors were 'visibly emotional' after the verdicts. The whole trial has just been an awful ordeal for everybody involved. Justice has been done but April's parents now have to live the rest of their lives with this loss. As I said when I started this thread a month ago, I don't know how they can bear it. My thoughts and prayers are with them.
Oh right - have just read that the prosecution didn't enter the 'confession' as part of the case so there must be a reason why they thought it would not help the trial. Strange.
I'm afraid I agree with angers
she was 250 metres from her home.
Angers I have reported your post and I hope it will be deleted. I really don't want to think about how cold you must be for that to be your reaction. The blame for a crime lies with the perpetrator not the victim, not the victim's parents. Do you even have children of your own? You disgust me.
@DuelingFanjo Have you seen the overhead shots of the estate? The garages where April was taken from and the location of her home? Nowhere near each other, and with a row of house in between, 7.30 at night is NO time for a 5yr old to be out, add to that no line of sight and dark winters eve.... The parents are NEVER brought to question in incidents like this, so the same things keep happening. If in cases like this the parents were brought to question and it was highlighted then perhaps it might help to stop it?
There is no point putting any blame on the parents...they are going through enough don't you think?
They should just lock him up in a cell with no food or water and let him die of starvation!
Angers, your post is disgusting and I have reported it,
What are you suggesting? That it's the parents fault that their daughter is dead? If so then can I say how nice and compassionate you sound.
yes, let's blame the parents?!! He had already approached another girl Angers he was going to take a child that night, what the fuck is wrong with you?
Yeah angers. Lets blame the pare to eh? That'll learn em
I agree, very poor taste to start criticising the parents.
I wonder why the confession made while bridger was in custody awaiting trial was not deemed to be helpful to the jury... I am sure Aprils parents were aware of this a while ago, so in one sense it's not as though they are left waiting for a body to be found. Terrible for them anyway. I can't imagine what they've gone through
@Northernlurker YES x 3 ( 1 boy and 2 lil girls ) . And it's exactly your soft reaction that ( too afraid to question the parents ) that makes the subject taboo, and thus never gets highlighted and questions asked. Do you have children? Would you allow your 5yr old girl out at that time of night out of your sight?
Oh FFS get over yerselves some of you? You ARE blaming the parents regardless of whether you think you are or not.
What would stop crimes like this is an absolute change in the attitudes of violent men towards women and children. That's all that's needed.
The home is the most dangerous place for women and children. We are all far more likely to be harmed in the home than anywhere else. April should have been safe that day. It's not her parents responsibilty taht she wasn't. It's the responsibility of the man who I hope will never again see the outside of a prison cell.
Good for you Kitty let's hope your children are never out of your sight eh? Wouldn't want strangers blaming you if anything happened would you?
"@DuelingFanjo Have you seen the overhead shots of the estate? The garages where April was taken from and the location of her home? Nowhere near each other, and with a row of house in between, 7.30 at night is NO time for a 5yr old to be out, add to that no line of sight and dark winters eve.... The parents are NEVER brought to question in incidents like this, so the same things keep happening. If in cases like this the parents were brought to question and it was highlighted then perhaps it might help to stop it?"
yes, I just had a look at the pictures and to me that's no distance at all. Particularly not in a rural area. She was not alone, she was with friends.
You are clearly blaming the parents for the murder of their child and overlooking the fact that someone else murdered her.
Poor taste to question the parents..... let's ignore it then, never highlight it, and carry on letting the same things happen. And yes, I think a certain amount of blame has to be portioned to the parents.
Predators like this will find a way to take a child, they are determined.
I have three daughters, my youngest is April's age. If she had a friend living nearby (which she doesn't as it happens) would I let her play out with her for 15 minutes when she begged to? Near our home, where we feel safest? Yes I might. I really might. I certainly let my older daughters walk to and from from activities because after all the dark isn't an evil force that gobbles children.
I repeat - you disgust me.
angers seriously, it takes 5 mintues to throw a kid in a car, do you seriously excpect me to believe your children have never been out of your sight for 5 minutes?
Let's hope some of you NEVER EVER lose sight of your children and if you do let's hope there isn't a Mark Bridger nearby Cos it'll be all YOUR fault if anything happens judging by your mentality.
I hope that angers posts are deleted. That is completely out of order. Her parents letting her out to play in that area at that time is NOT the reason why she was murdered, the responsibility for that lies with the murderer.
Let it go Angers your posts are making you seem like an unfeeling twat.
I'm sure the parents were questioned at the time , as a matter of routine, but do they need to have trial by internet too?
I second Jake's opinion of 13.36
How bloody unpleasant to state such a thing anyway.
How can anyone with an ounce of empathy look at her parents, knowing what they have had to listen to these last weeks and blame them?
I personally would not allow my child out alone T night....but AJ wasn't alone, she was with friends. Okay, so I wouldn't allow my child out with friends after dark either but I don't live rurally.
Some of you are unbelievable in your "let's blame the parents" mentality. Only ONE person is to blame and that is Mark Bridger, I hope he rots.
apparently the police don't believe the confession that the body was thrown into the river according to some tweets on twitter...
But what on earth possesses someone with no previous history to do something like that, it's just chilling.
As for bringing parents into question, this is such a difficult one isn't it? When mmc went missing many people questioned why such young children were left alone and unattended in an unlocked apartment while the parents dined out of the line of sight with a swimming pool between them and the kids. Thing is, there's this almost assumption that because something happened it's wrong to question that. Yet if nothing happened people would judge. No amount of questioning could bring April Jones, or Mmc for that matter, back, but equally I don't think it's wrong to uquestion why such young children would be left unsupervised so far from adults....
@Kitty "Do those disgusted with these comments really believe it is acceptable for a 5 year old to play out alone at night, out of sight? That's what I'm talking about. Do you honestly think there is nothing out of the ordinary or unacceptable there?"
EXACTLY the point.
Poor poor parents, and no body to bury either,
Very easy to say "it wouldn't have happened if.....". When unpleasant things happen some folk are so quick to apportion blame at the parents. Lets hope they lead blameless and risk free lives. Am guessing their kids are under lock and key, never allowed anywhere. After all you can never tell what might happen so don't let em out.
@Jake "but AJ wasn't alone, she was with friends" Yes, friends of the same age range unfortunately, not old or wise enough to prevent....
"But what on earth possesses someone with no previous history to do something like that, it's just chilling. "
I know that this is going to be an unpopular opinion but there is always the chance that it was an accident and he's telling the truth about that bit.
I still don't understand why someone would then try to cover an accident up though.
I don't think it matters that she was with other children. Children cannot be responsible for each other and cannot protect each other from an adult.
I don't think it matters that she was with other children. Children cannot be responsible for each other and cannot protect each other from an adult.
I don't think it matters that she was with other children. Children cannot be responsible for each other and cannot protect each other from an adult.
Oh I see - this is another attack of the 'it could never happen to me' syndrome isn't it. That's bullshit. Nobody can protect their children from every terrible thing. You can count the kicks and get the scans, you can buy the rearfacing car seat and put a net round the trampoline. You can do your first aid course and deal with choking. You can teach them to cross roads and you can get them their HPV jab and teach them red flags to look out for in relationships and you can help them and nurture them with everything in you and still there is factor X - the things you cannot plan for, cannot predict. Anybody who thinks that they can is beyond stupid. Anybody who extends this to blame parents for the terrible and unpredictable is beyond contempt. Seriously Kitty - think about this. Would you say that to April's mother? Do you even believe it's a fair thing to say?
No, the question does not need to be asked. It really, really doesn't.
Not if you have an ounce of sympathy or compassion.
I wouldn't allow MY child out after dark but I live in a busy and urban area. In a rural area with lots of other children playing out I might well allow it. It might well seem safe because the Mark Ridgers of this world are sadly rare.
Btw angers do you also blame rape victims if they wear short skirts? Same mentality...it wouldn't have happened if she'd worn a longer skirt. Do you see the link? Victim blaming is SO attractive.
crap. silly phone. That wasnt for effect.
So do you all lock your kids up and never allow them anywhere? Risk is everywhere and it's a balance. It may well have seemed a small risk to them because they did not know Mark Bridger was a paedophile.
But let's blame the, and show no compassion, that'll learn em!
I think you are spot on Northern. I hope to God none in April's family comes across this thread.
Hiding this now as I can predict how it will go .
I am hiding this thread now too. Hope to God it's not read by April's family ever.
Sme of your have no fucking compassion...all I can wish is that you do t experience the same lack compassion if anything (God forbid) should happen to you or yours.
Blame lies with ONE person here and that is Mark Bridger, a man whom April Jones KNEW and TRUSTED. She wasn't snatched by a faceless stranger but by a friend of the family.
My baby is awake so I must go.
Of course you can't lock them up forever but there are things you can do.
I would add to your list, northern, not to let them play out in the dark, unsupervised, aged 5, late in the evening.
I can't believe how this is thought of as ok.
I won't change how I feel about that. Too young, too late, too alone, too vulnerable.
@Jake you question my opinion then go on to say "I wouldn't allow MY child out after dark" rural or not you're right.. kids that young cannot fend for themselves At ALL, that includes scum such as Bridger, roads, rivers etc etc.... exactly the point I opened up with yet you chose to blast me for it then point out you wouldn't do it yourself..... rape victims? please tell me at what point I said it was Aprils fault?
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I can't believe people are blaming the parents. FFS - you are blaming because you want to believe the parents could have changed what happened, when in reality this could have happened to anyone. Where April lived it's very normal for the children to play out. And MB knew her - so he could have targeted her another time in another situation.
You need to change your attitude.
James Bulger, his Mum turned her back for a second in a busy shopping Mall, her fault was it? Sara Payne, who was sent out with older siblings, her Mums fault was it? Holly and Jessica from Soham, the list is endless. FFS have some compassion.
Why the @? This isn't twitter. Why don't you go back there and drum up some support amongst various other knuckleheads.
I know that town and it never crossed my mind that she shouldn't have been playing out. It was a warm light autumn evening, its a beautiful quiet town in mid-wales, everyone knows everyone. She was with her older siblings. It is really quite different to the places where most of the UK population live.
I am praying that her body will be found and her parents can lay her to rest properly, at least then they will get a tiny smidge of comfort from knowing where she is and can visit her resting place. That is really all that matters.
Every parent has had, or will have at least one moment where their child is only ok because of luck rather than judgement, whether its taking your eyes off them for a few minutes, letting their hand slip away beside the road, losing them in a supermarket or a million other things that could be blamed on the parents.
Those who are judging Aprils family would do well to remember that, because we are all one lapse of judgement away from being villified by ignorant strangers on the internet who use others tragedies to make themselves feel good about their own parenting.
The only person to blame is the evil bastard who did this, no-one else.
'Every parent has had, or will have at least one moment where their child is only ok because of luck rather than judgement'
He's been given a whole life tariff so will never get out. Good.
George Monbiot wrote a really good piece in the Guardian that talks about how Machynlleth has been affected and how it's the last place you would expect something so awful to happen.
From the article:
"I have never come across a town in Britain that is as child-centred as Machynlleth. The elderly people in particular seem to regard the entire population of children almost as if they were their own, doting on them, treating them, offering to babysit and help out. This cataclysm could not have afflicted a more unlikely place, or a place that would feel it more keenly. The entire town seems to have been struck by a family tragedy. There are people on April's estate who look as if they've aged 10 years since October. It's as if the lights have gone out from their faces."
I don't know Machynlleth but I am from a small town in north west Wales and it's similar there. Everyone knows each other at least by sight, people watch out for children, and children play in the street in the light evenings. A stranger would have been noticed, but crucially, April knew Mark Bridger. His daughter was in her class. To her he would have been X from school's daddy. It also wouldn't have been dark at the time - 1 October is a month before the clocks go back, it would still have been light.
I was about to quote from the same article.
'Already a sense of resilience and defiance is growing in the town. People are slowly emerging from the carapace of shock. And from the green on the estate comes the most beautiful sound on earth, the sound of healing: children playing. Their happy voices, ringing out once more, are the best memorial that little girl could have.'
God bless you little April.
kitty I'm loathe to engage with you on this, and agree with the analogy that's already been made about the victims in other crimes such as rape. They are in no way to blame for the crimes perpetrated, as here, April's parents are not to blame for her abduction.
You have twice talked about a child being allowed to play out in the dark. I distinctly remember the evening she went missing. As I am fairy local, the pleas for help on Facebook started coming in very soon afterwards. Just a little earlier I had been snuggling my DD to sleep and had been pleased to notice that it was still light outside as for me, the beginning of October signifies the start of autumn and the nights drawing in. It was not dark.
Anybody blaming the parents needs to know this. A paedophile does not only take advantage of opportunities presented to them, they MAKE opportunities. If not April Jones, it would have been somebody else's child . It's the determination of the paedophile that should ALWAYS be looked at. However, people seem to get a buzz out of trying to discern whether paedophilia is a sexual orientation (thereby giving it some cachet), whether paedophilia is learned behaviour(thereby suggesting that it can cured or modified). This man had no previous record, but I can guarantee that he has always been a paedophile. No ordinary person I know (even the ones who in my mind like too much "normal" porn) has sought out child porn for on the internet. The little that I know about that suggests that there are so m any hoops to jump through that a layperson can't ordinarily access it. I bet you my home that Bridger expected the "why was April out so late" brigade to come out to play as he killed April Jones. Paedophiles are if not anything else self justifiers of the highest order, anything to minimise and deflect the true horror of their actions. So I agree that blaming the parents and trying to look superior is not needed. I could tell you a story how I, not a stupid woman had an ex who was abusing his daughter under my roof. I reported my suspicions, his daughter denied it and he's gone onto another woman with a young child. He now takes the time to travel across town to be seen on MY road, knowing that I will hear this back. That's because no matter how many women, police and social workers he has managed to fool, he knows that I KNOW what he has done. I am not intimidated because I do not blame anybody else in his life (ex partners, the mother of his kids, myself, his daughter for not grassing, his extended family) for HIS behaviour. Victims of paedophilia, I feel can be as angry and point fingers wherever and as much as they want. The survivors know the dynamics within which they were abused. R.I.P April Jones.
Well said stooshe and thank god he'll never see the light of day again.
I think that what this case shows is you just never know who might have an awful dark side that they keep hidden. This was a man who nobody suspected would be capable of a crime such as he committed.
Yet from what I have read about the trial, he sounds like a manipulative and dangerous man. I got sick of hearing reports of him breaking down during the trial when the parents of the little girl who should still be here today had to listen to it.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Northern's 13:48 post says it all.
He has been given a whole life tariff which means he can never endanger other children again. Apparently he will also be on rule 42 or whatever they call it for the rest of his life, so he isn't beaten and murdered by other prisoners.
I was just about to cite Monbiot's piece in the Guardian as well but I see I was beaten to it! it's a great piece and says a lot about the way certain communities see their children playing out all the time.
Oh and Angers: your comment that "I think a certain amount of blame has to be portioned (sic) to the parents" is especially vile and despicable. No doubt when your children are teens you will be chaperoning them around everywhere and accompanying them to the toilets in Sainsbury's? Like fuck you will.
50 years ago (or less) it would have been quite normal for small kids to be playing out on the street with other kids. Machynlleth sounds that it's a bit like that - all the children go out to play in the evening with each other. April pleaded with her mum to be allowed to go out again, so her mum let her, for what she thought would be a short period of time.
If Bridger hadn't killed April, he'd have killed some other child. I think we can be fairly certain of that.
unbelievable to blame the parents. It wasn't dark, it is a small town where everyone knows everyone - and unfortunately it housed a murderer. THAT is where the blame lies.
the guy was clearly guilty as hell from the word go and I am only relieved to see justice done. And that it looks like the prison will 'not be able to remember' where they left the key.
no winners - but he won't kill again.
For shame those blaming the parents . I hope to God you never feel the utter despair and devastation that they will feel for the rest of their lives. One person is to blame in all of this Mark Bridger.
What really frightens me is that a guy that was pretty well liked and judged normal, never on the police radar, was actually a dangerous and predatory paedophile. How many other communities are harbouring these kind of men? and how many more children will be taken? Why can't the powers that be get a grip on those accessing extreme porn on the internet, track them down and stop them?
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Kitty and Angers, you should be ashamed of yourselves, what spiteful vindictiveness to try and lay blame at the parents' door.
I doubt you will be, though, as it takes a certain thickness of skin and sense of self-righteousness to even form those thoughts, let alone take the time to post them on an internet forum
He may have a whole life sentence but so do her parents, bet a day doesn't go by when they wonder what if they hadn't let her go out that teatime
Victim blaming is never acceptable or at least it shouldn't be.
I hope this evil fucking piece of shit gets what's coming to him inside. I really do.
I just wish I had the opportunity to spit in his face. Disgusting excuse for a human being.
The hurt he has inflicted on April, her family and that whole community will last for much longer than his life span. This is a case where the law just can't go far enough .
CremeEgg, I hear you there. I've always wholeheartedly believed in the innocent until proven guilty mantra, even early in this case. And then came the first day of the trial and the appalling weight if the evidence against him. Justice simply can't be done in this case.
I think justice has been done. He had the opportunity to present a defence and a jury of his peers found him guilty. What we don't get is vengence. I'm a mother. What I would like is for him to suffer as he made her suffer, as her parents will suffer - and that's why I'm pleased the law doesn't it leave it up to me or to them. That said, Bridger will be spending the rest of his life in a restricted space with very dangerous men who've nothing to lose. Many of whom are parents too. Justice has been done.
21.30 NorthernLurker, yes agree entirely with what you said.
discussed this (briefly) with dd1 (9) earlier today. Told her that this man is now locked away for ever so he cannot harm other children (dd2 is 5)
RIP April Jones.
Thoughts and prayers with her parents, cannot begin to imagine their grief and loss.
justice has been done
i cant even imagine how its affected their community
and HIS kids, did he not have 6 kids? I guess locally, what a horrible scar it will place on his family too
duelling, i do get that but given his internet history.....I dont think it could have been an accident??
"Why can't the powers that be get a grip on those accessing extreme porn on the internet, track them down and stop them?
I agree so so much and have posted same, are you telling me those cyber genuises that run our world could not work this out? I bet they coul, easily
I agree that justice has been done. Heartbreaking for April's family and also for the lost innocence of a generation. I listened to a report this afternoon that said no children play outside any more in Machynlleth. I can't imagine that and I really think that sums up the effect this case has had on a community that has been changed forever.
I have just read April's mums victim impact statement (guardian website) and wept.
I cannot believe people are on here blaming the parents for what happened to that little girl. I agree with those who have said you should be ashamed of yourselves.
I agree the law went as far as it could, but it just can' t go far enough in this case .
The pity is that these monsters are protected in prison.
Far from it Scrappy. He will be on the numbers for the rest of his life, and even then he will find no protection.
I'm a bit scared TBH. He seemed a normal guy, another parent, within that community. How many people do we take on trust where our children are concerned with our own communities (playdates, lifts to activities, parties etc). And yet, if we don't, we'll be in a right mess and children will never come on socially, and learn independence.
That's how I feel about it Growlithe. He got to the age of approaching 50 before this side of his character became apparent.
Perhaps he just got to this age before he got caught ? But even so you can't go around assuming that everyone is a potential child abuser, it is probably no more prevalent than in the past but internet has opened up more opportunities to share ideas, find material and "normalise" such behaviour.
BMW what does "on the numbers" mean?
No, of course you can't go around thinking that and I wouldn't change the fact that generally I trust people are safe. After all - that is all you can do.
BTW I thought downloading images like the ones described would usually alert the police so I wonder why that didn't happen in this case.
I have a question about the evidence from the computer. Not in any way defending him but I wondered... If someone had an interest in murders in general and they looked at sites which had pictures of crime scenes and/or victims then would that all come up on the computer's history even if the person hadn't actively saved those pictures?
I ask because I am not clear about the way in which they checked his computer. Did he have pictures of that kind saved in files or was it just search history?
I think many of us here who have followed criminal cases will have looked at sites with pictures of the victims etc, so those kinds of things would be traceable on our computers too?
Fanjo any websites you view can always be found on your pc, even if you clear the history, by people who know what they're doing and have the right software. The only way to truly delete something is to destroy the hard drive (literally pounding it with a brick or something - it surprises me why murderers don't immediately do this in case they're arrested really).
It's all about context though. Having an interest in crime and googling it is one thing. Googling it whilst also googling "naked five year olds" would trigger alarm bells.
Can't you also trace what websites have been visited via your ISP?
I think this case just reiterates that you really don't know anyone else even close friends. Many years ago I had a work colleague that I spent a lot of time with outside the office (on business trips). I knew about him, his family, his interests and hobbies, things he liked/disliked etc. I would say that I knew him extremely well. He killed his wife and himself in an horrific manner. I didn't have a clue that he was planning anything like that (and there was a large amount of planning involved) even though I spent a lot of time with him immediately prior to it happening.
I also had a friend do something to me recently (using a photo of ds to pretend he was her ds) which I found really creepy and again that is someone I considered I knew well.
Ds has been asking a lot about the outcome of the trial so I've used it as another reminder that he must never ever go anywhere without checking wiht me first even if it is with the parent of a close friend. In reality most children are harmed by people known to them than by complete strangers.
Very scary, the whole story. That poor girl, what she may have suffered we will never know. But the evidence all points to her being tortured, mutilated and murdered at the hands of such evil.
My thoughts go out to April's parent's and children, so sad and heartbreaking that this could happen to a child riding her bike in her own area
Angers, I think you may have pm-ed me the following by mistake this morning - surely you wouldn't be so cowardly as to be abusive in private?
"Go -ahead and live in your bubble wrapped world where it is obviously ok to let a 5yr ol child roam free with no supervision and add to that gone 7pm.... You obviously are too idiotic to to have actually read the original post and understood the whole point, NO, it far easier to jump on the do-gooder bandwagon with everyone else."
I have reported this for you, btw, just in case you accidently make the same mistake and privately harrass someone else who disagrees with you
Dueling - I think he actually had folders with collections of images of children who had been murder victims as well as other folders with other images. I agree it is about context though - the child pornography was the key thing here combined with the other evidence.
That's very true bico, people like this can hide the evil side of themselves far too well. When I was young my mother got together with a man and after a few years moved him into our home, and then got engaged to him. He was long time friends with a few friends of hers too and everyone thought he was a nice guy, very gentle, kind, etc. Then one day his sister let slip something about his past and it all came out that he had sexually abused one of his own children and had since not been allowed near his own children and had been banned from being left alone with any other child (and certainly shouldn't have been living with us!). My mother stayed with him despite this until one day out of the blue he 'lost it' and threatened us all with a knife and had to be taken away by the police. He had hidden that side of him from everyone for years.
"In reality most children are harmed by people known to them than by complete strangers.
Yes, both April and Tia were killed by people known to them. I wept for her mothers statement, its NOT her/their fault. He targeted a child he new playing outside, and he knew the fact that she knew his kids would sway her.
when I first heard the story I also said "what a 5 year old, out on her own" , as a knee jerk reaction. but now I read about the area, it was rural, green, kids played out. I would NEVER ever judge them now
Tiger that's awful and so upestting that your mother chose to stay with him knowing the kind of man he was.
classy angers sending nasty pm's tsk tsk
Re the 'out after 7pm thing' - many people seem to be forgetting the fact that April knew Mark Bridger. He could have picked her up playing out at midday.
I grew up in rural Wales. We played out, up until teatime and sometimes after. What a great childhood it was. Long may it be so for children.
Many people who grew up or who are bringing children up now in similar areas say this is the norm. When I grew up in an urban area it was the norm there too. You take your lead from the community around you.
And as for it being a bit late, they'd been to a parent's evening, and heard she'd done well. Things were probably a bit out of routine that day, and they wanted to give her a treat.
And besides, the argument that her being out where they couldn't see her being a contributing factor only really stands up if the murderer was a stranger. It seems Bridger was trusted by the community. In fact it would seem that he was an charismatic accomplished liar who would have had us all fooled.
We cannot live our lives and restrict our children's happy childhood for fear that every person, known or unknown to us, is capable of this. We would not be doing the best for our children if we thought like this all the time. April's parents had every right to let her play with her friend till bedtime in their safe little community because she'd done well at school.
I agree with the poster who said the time of day is a red herring - Bridger could just as easily done this at midday. He was looking for the opportunity. It could have been any other child, given the opportunity. He lured April because she KNEW him, he was not a dangerous stranger, he was "just" X's dad - adults who have known him years had no inkling that he could be secretly like this, so how could a 5yo know. I am sure he told her some lie about going off to see her friend, or that her parents had said it was OK, he would have been smiling and charming, not at all scary - and she trusted him. Had he come and asked her parents if he could go treat her and his DD to an ice cream, or take them out somewhere, maybe they would have said yes - they thought they knew him, lots of people thought they knew him. This is what worries me most - men like this are hidden in plain view. Every village or estate has them. every school has parents like this. we don't know where they are.
I remember years ago seeing a program where the production team were adamant that their kids knew not to go off with anyone. They had this drilled into them and were then left to playing a park with film crew watching - parent sat close by reading the paper - bloke comes along with a dog lead and asks the child to help look for his lost puppy and the child goes, straight away, no persuasion needed - the parents were gobsmacked, thinking their child knew not to go off.
I for one have been working through some "scenarios" with my DC - and hopefully all are old enough to understand that not going off with ANYONE without telling me, includes friends of the family who they have previously had lifts from, and aunts and uncles etc etc.
RIP April, and peace & healing to your family
Those saying he could have done this at anytime are missing my point. I think 5 years old is too young to be out, alone, unsupervised at any time of day or night. I don't class other children as supervision. I'm really surprised that people are saying they don't agree and that a child is capable of looking after themselves and making decisions about safety at 5 years old. I don't think 5 year olds should be playing in the streets without a responsible adult. I know I'm not alone in this opinion.
The fact that it is a close knit community where everyone knows each other doesn't matter particularly as children are statistically more likely to be harmed by someone they know.
I'm leaving this thread now.
The fact that it is a close knit community where everyone knows each other doesn't matter particularly as children are statistically more likely to be harmed by someone they know.
So what do you do Kitty? Never let your DCs out of your own sight because you won't trust anybody?
At that age? No I wouldn't, absolutely not. That's what I've been trying to say.
So by the age of 5 you wouldn't have left a child with anyone else? They'd have been only with you solidly for 5 years?
I'm talking about playing in the street alone. I believe you know that. I don't know whether I would have left my child in the care of someone else by that age. Possibly not. That's my choice though.
The point is, she was not 'on the streets' - the area outside her house is like an extended garden. Secondly, if he had not taken April he would have taken another child. We know that the first child he approached was 10 - would you say a 10 year old shouldn't play outside??
It is very, very unfair to cast any blame on the parents just so you can feel that this would never happen to you.
As someone upthread said, pedophiles create opportunities.
What happened with that 10 year old? I believe she said she didn't want a sleep over and refused to go off with him. Not comparable.
She was not outside her house though, was she?
If it hadn't have been April, it would have been someone else? Nice.
5 is too young.
I'm really leaving now.
I think it's wrong to cast aspurtions over the parents parenting. We all do things differently, in different situations. Living in a small village i suspect they felt their daughter would feel safe, as most people would. I'm sure they are suffering enough as it is, and god only knows they probably regret letting her out that night themselves. Lets not talk badly of these parents, it's very wrong and lets not forget they could be reading it
victim blaming fucking victim blaming
one fucking person caused this
fuck off with blaming her parents they are going to suffer a lifetime of torment without sanctimonoius fuckers getting their sanctimonious tuppence worth on the internet.
'If it hadn't have been April, it would have been someone else? Nice.'
What do you mean nice? I am stating a fact. The police have said that they do not believe Bridger set out to target April specifically. He was determined to take a child that day.
'I don't know whether I would have left my child in the care of someone else by that age. Possibly not' - so how old is your child Kitty? Not five yet? Seriously - you're pontficating about this when you don't even know what it's like to raise a child of that age? That's pretty arrogant.
What hobnob said.
There is one thing and one thing only we can really say about April's parents: There but for the Grace of God go I.
Yes, absolutely - and yet some very stupid, smug people will NEVER understand that.
No the 'big factor', the only factor, in all those cases is criminal intent.
In this case it was 7pm not 2am. Lots of people around, a local area with lots of children playing and they allowed her out for a few minutes as a treat. The only thing that made that dangerous was Bridger's malign intent. I really don't understand why people need to keep harping on this topic. I say again - would you say that to April's mother?
There is one absolute truth in this case. If Bridger hadn't abducted and killed April, she would still be alive and well, just another anonymous five-year-old.
Knowing that, whose fault is her death? His, and his alone. There is only one "risk factor" for paedophilia and murder: the presence of a paedophile and murderer. Anything else is victim-blaming. And yes, those poor parents are victims just as April is.
I do hope they're not reading this thread.
Its not 'victim blaming' FFS, Of course Bridger is guilty here but examining the events and environment of a crime is not victim blaming its common sense.
People were very ready to tear Maddy's parents a new one over there neglect, why is this any different?
Like I said this happened to my own DF as a smaller child than here and would Strongly agree with everything I have said, which is a stronger case for my opinion than a few people bleating 'victim blamer'
Fgs I can't believe people are still blaming her parents! It was 7pmmshe was allowed out with friends as a treat! I am sure her parents bear themselves up enough without others blaming them as well.
There is nothing wrong with letting a five year old play out the front of their own house.
How cold can you get? The parents have no body to bury for heavens sake.
Lets try spelling this out one more time as you're plainly struggling for understanding as well as compassion. 7pm is a time on the clock. 5 yr olds do not turn in to pumpkins at 7pm nor do paedophiles only prey on children after dark. The time of day had nothing to do with this. It's the criminal who precipitated it.
That was to Octopus not 5madthings obviously
Octopus, this is nothing like maddies case ffs, how can you even compare it. Jeez, it was a small village in the middle of nowhere, you would think your child would be safe. Stop insulted the parents, they will be suffering enough without reading this shit for crying out loud!!!
And Octopus have you been to that butcher's shop in Bootle Strand where James Bulger slipped away from his mum? I know exactly the shop as it was. It was a small rectangular shop, with the front completely open on a short end to the indoor shopping centre and a counter down one long side. There was always a long queue.
I can see exactly how a grumpy bored two year old can slip away from his mum. I can also see why his mum would think he couldn't get too far.
You cannot always factor into every decision you make, or eye you take off the ball, the presence of such evil. If you thought like that, you couldn't live your life. You'd never take your children out.
Why are people so keen to mitigate the behaviour of those who do harmful things by transferring responsibility to others? Is it simply that they think they can ensure that bad things don't happen to those close to them? What a terrifying existence for them and those close to them...
Surely you don't think that all men are rapists and paedophiles? That's reserved for mythical-feminist, isn't it?
my DH is from a little island in the middle of nowehere, and kids play out day and night
I am from a large city and there is NO way I would let my DC play out (also 5) but in rural areas (globally) its VVVVV different, and we have to respect and acknowledge that
Actually many of us thought, and continue to think, that the blaming of Madeleine McCanns parents was vile, unwarranted and tasteless. Your suggestion that everyone on here was ready to 'tear Maddys patents a new one' is completely incorrect.
I'm curious, those blaming the parents because April was out aged 5, would it still be her parents fault had she been 6? Or 7, 8, 10, 15? At what magic number would they be absolved of blame and who gets to decide that number?
Would those blaming the parents also think that if I chose to walk alone late at night in a short skirt and got raped, that would be partly my fault? How far do you go with the victim blaming?
If I don't put the calpol out of reach and my toddler poisons himself, it's an accident but it's my fault. If I leave him unsupervised downstairs when I know he can open the front door and he ends up on the main road, it's negligence on my part. If a pervert abducts and murders my child - that is NOT my fault. FGS, try walking in their shoes for a moment.
"James Bulger, his Mum turned her back for a second in a busy shopping Mall, her fault was it?" YES blame should be portioned.... He was TWO yrs old, why was he not on a safety harness hooked to her wrist????
Another one receiving PMs from Angers
Thanks for the special attention love, but can you stick to the thread in future?
The only one to blame is Mark Bridger, anyone that can't see that needs to read the individual story and realise they lived in a tiny village fgs.
This thread is about April, not past cases of other children!
Stop insulting James Bulgers parents to whoever is, fgs have some empathy. Are you perfect has your child never slipped your hand?
This isn't about parenting, stick to the subject at hand.
What's with the PM nonsense? Why would she do that?
Hobnobs I agree - there's some sort of mysterious age/time of day equation that some are privy to
I was making a point that you can't keep your child 100% 'safe' from someone intent on doing them harm their whole lives, and used JB and others as examples, angers however, has never let her children out of her sight, so never has to worry
Angers: let me explain something to you. Blame is not 'portioned'. Blame is 'apportioned'. There is no such verb as 'portion'. You are not only a weird stalking troll, PMing all and sundry, but you are also dim. I cannot understand why MN is not barring you, given that you are
stalkingPMing people with vile comments.
and now we have yet another very sad case in the media - the murder of a 17 yo girl when she went out to meet friends - anyone care to say she should not have gone out? that it's the parents fault?
you can never guarantee 100% against all eventualities.
the attitude of some people on here disgusts me, it really does. This sort of thing happens to families who have absolute trust in the person doing the offending (eg female nursery worker case, parish priest). These people worm their way into communities and are expert con artists.
Was that what you put in your PMs?
The use of PC brigade really is a crock of shit.
How many times, they lived in a remote village. Your story does not compare.
Lottieandmia "The point is, she was not 'on the streets' - the area outside her house is like an extended garden. Secondly, if he had not taken April he would have taken another child. We know that the first child he approached was 10 - would you say a 10 year old shouldn't play outside??"
Without even realizing it you've made a similar point, the 10yr old said no, a 10yr old is more equipped to make a safety decision than a 5yr old.
Asked above what age is safe? 5,6,7 in my opinion, NO. 8 / 9 / 10 onwards, only the parents will be able to judge if they are mentally equipped.
"pc brigade" get out phrase for the hard of thinking.
We understand that this is a very emotive topic and we're not here to censor your debate but we'd like to remind you of our talk guidelines and ask you to respect the fact that there is a grieving family involved.
We will remove any posts which we deem are beyond the pail once we are notified of them, and we will remove any posts which contain quotes of the deleted post.
We hope you understand.
http://blockchildporn.org/ - please share and support this campaign which I've started in the wake of the Mark Bridger murder of April Jones
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