Friday, 31 May 2013

Whole life term imposed for murderer of April Jones

Crown Court - Mold
Mark Bridger (47), is to serve a 'whole life term' for the murder of April Jones - The Guardian 30th May 2013.  April disappeared in October 2012 and her body has not been found - BBC 31st May.   It was revealed during the trial that fragments of bone consistent with a juvenile human skull were found among ashes in a woodburner, along with April's blood near to a number of knives, including one which was badly burned.

The sentencing remarks of  Griffith Williams J are available via the Judiciary website.  The judge described Bridger as a 'pathological and glib liar' - a 'paedophile who harboured sexual and morbid fantasies about young girls'.  Bridger's laptop stored images of 'foul pornography of the gross sexual abuse of young children.'

Factors for determining the minimum term are
in Schedule 21 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 - see post of 16th May Whole Life Orders for Murder.  A murder of a child involving abduction or sexual or sadistic motivation points to a whole life term.  Aggravating features in this case included significant premeditation and concealment of the body.

Murder trials where the body has not been found have an interesting history - Wikipedia.   The modern law stems from R v Onufrejczyk [1955] 1 Q.B. 388.   In Brougham v The Queen [2000] UKPC 20, Lord Slynn of Hadley cited Lord Goddard's judgment in Onufrejczyk :
"… the fact of death, like any other fact, can be proved by circumstantial evidence, that is to say, evidence of facts which lead to one conclusion, provided that the jury are satisfied and are warned that it must lead to one conclusion only."
The Telegraph 30th May reported on concerns regarding the availability of pornography on the internet.

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