In the dock

Today in a Magistrates Court in Wales a man will stand in the dock accused of the murder of April Jones.  The Magistrates cannot and will not hear the evidence against him and pass sentence because Murder is in indictable offence and can only be heard at Crown Court.

The Magistrates today will commit this case to be heard at Crown Court and the defendant will be remanded in custody until his hearing at Crown Court, due to the severity of the offence.

Since the defendant was charged, sub-judice laws comes into play.. The defendant has the right to a fair trial and Iwan Jenkins, the District Crown Prosecutor from the Crown Prosecution Service said this at the press conference held on Saturday:

 “The huge public and media interest in this case is understandable.


“I would just like to stress that, whilst Mark Bridger stands accused of serious criminal charges, he retains the right to a fair trial.

“I would therefore ask that nothing is placed in the public domain that may undermine the criminal justice process.”

Social media, blogs and forums are abuzz with comments about this little girl’s murder especially now that Mark Bridger has been charged.  Personally I don’t think it will be long, before some defence attorney uses social media as a defence argument as to why this person will not get a fair trial.

Since the charging of Mark Bridger sub-judice comes into play.  And it is an offence to breach sub-judice.  You can and will be charged with contempt of court if you it is found that you have hindered the trial of this defendant.

It is only natural that people are shocked about what has happened and they wish to talk.. but to put comments on a social network site or forum and blog that could result in the case being thrown out does not do any justice for the child that has been murdered.

Mark Bridger is entitled to a fair trial and I like many others will put our faith in the 12 men and women to reach the correct verdict based on the evidence they have heard in court during the trial.

I have read a fair few comments on some forums and blogs and to be perfectly honest, these comments should not have been written.  The last thing that any person wants is a guilty person walking away from court as a free man due to the fact that his defence attorney has managed to get his trial dismissed, on the grounds of him having an unfair hearing.

That is not justice, and definitely not justice for a little girl, who the Police believe to be murdered.  Her family have been told the news that every family who has a missing loved one dreads.. the fact that there is evidence to believe that they missing person is no longer alive.

I have seen comments condemning the parents, comments that are well and truly out of order.  Every day that passes April’s parents will be blaming themselves, they will feel guilty for allowing their daughter to play outside, they will feel more hurt and pain than you and I could ever imagine.  They definitely do not need people writing such horrendous comments on social media for them to read.  They need our compassion and our empathy, they need to know that we as human beings, will help them through their darkest days and we will stand beside them in their hour of need.

People have condemned the council for starting a fund and some people are saying that they are capitalising on their daughter’s fate.  What they fail to understand is that there are people out there who want to help. For reasons only known to that person, perhaps the offering of money is all they can manage to do.  Perhaps they live too far away to be of any assistance, perhaps they can’t get time off of work.  Who knows, so they do whatever they can with whatever they can… that being the offer of financial assistance to the parents.

Then there is the one thing that nobody wants to talk about.. if this little girl has been murdered and her body is found, then she will have to be laid to rest.  People know how expensive this is and people feel that they want to help… if her parents don’t have a bank full of pounds then this is an added burden and worry for them.  They have lost their daughter and, if the police are correct, they will have to lay her to rest and they will want to give their precious daughter the best funeral that money can buy… it is only natural.  So people out there, have in their hearts compassion and empathy and they will do whatever they can to help take away some of the burdens that this family will have to cope with in the coming days and weeks.

There has been condemnation, in some quarters, about the Police wearing Pink Ribbons, with comments from some saying that the Police should be independent.

Those pink ribbons are not for her parents, they are being worn as a mark of respect to a little 5 year old girl who is missing now presumed dead.

No Police Officer ever wants the duty of having to knock on someone’s door with the news that every parent dreads, that their child is dead and their body has been found.  No Police Officer wants to stand there and witness a family’s world fall apart because their hopes have been dashed.  But they have to do it, because it is their job.

Every officer and search person will want to find this little girl and to be found alive and they will have the dread of being the one that finds her body.  It is a grim task at times being a Police Officer, you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. This little girl has a right to justice and therefore this blog will not be commentating any further on the disappearance of April Jones.

I will leave the Prosecutor the task of providing the evidence that will determine whether this person is innocent or guilty.  I will leave the jury to decide if the evidence they have heard warrants a guilty verdict and I will leave the judge to determine the sentence should the defendant be found guilty.

And above all I give my support to the family and friends of April Jones, a little girl who has captured our hearts and our prayers.  My thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time..xx


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