Former lifeguard Mark Bridger was “probably responsible” for the death of five-year-old April Jones, his barrister told a court today.
Brendan Kelly told Mold Crown Court his client’s defence involves him “conceding that he probably killed the child”.
But Bridger denies abducting and murdering the youngster, who was last seen playing out on her bike near her home on the Bryn-y-Gog estate in Machynlleth, mid Wales, on October 1.
Bridger, of Mount Pleasant farmhouse in the village of Ceinws, near Machynlleth, will stand trial later this year.
Bridger entered not guilty pleas to abduction, murder and perverting the course of justice at Mold Crown Court today.
But following Mr Kelly’s revelation, judge Mr Justice Griffith-Williams said: “That matter can be reported. You have indicated that the defendant’s case is that he was probably responsible for the death of April.”
The judge ordered that no other evidence in the case could be reported.
April’s body has not yet been found.
Her parents Coral and Paul Jones were in court today as Bridger, 46, entered his pleas. Both wore their daughter’s favourite colour, pink, with Mrs Jones wearing a black cardigan, pink T-shirt and black trousers, and Mr Jones wearing a salmon pink shirt.
Bridger with short cropped hair and goatee beard, was brought in and confirmed his name to the court.
Both parents stared at him as the charges were read to him.
Bridger looked forward as he entered not guilty pleas to abducting and murdering April and a further charge of perverting the course of public justice.
The trial, which is estimated would take around four weeks, was listed to begin on February 25.