April Jones's sister speaks out on her battle with drink
The sister of murdered schoolgirl, April Jones, has revealed how she turned to drink as a release to try to cope with her heartache.
Jazmin Jones was just 16 when the five-year-old sister she adored was abducted while playing outside her home in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, and murdered.
Devastated parents, Coral and Paul Jones did all they could to protect Jazmin and her brother Harley from the glare of publicity after the tragedy.
Now aged 21 she has spoken out for the first time about her battle with drink and how she is channelling her energies into campaigning for tougher laws on sex offenders.
In September, Jazmin launched a petition for April's Law, which calls for indecent images of children on the internet to be filtered out. The proposal will be debated in Parliament on March 13.
April was murdered in October 2012 and the police operation that followed her disappearance was the largest in Welsh history. When police arrested her killer Mark Bridger, the paedophile was found to have more than 500 indecent images of children on his computer.
Bridger is serving a full-life sentence for April's murder and abduction. The little girl's body was never found but traces of blood and tiny fragments of bone were found at his house in Ceinws just outside Machynlleth. The house has been demolished.
Jazmin said drink was her release in the dark days after her sister's murder.
"I drank quite a bit," she said. "I would go to the pub with my friends but I would have to get drunk. I couldn't go for a pint after work, I would have to get drunk. I would go to the pub and drink all night to the point I didn't remember who I was, I didn't remember my name."
She said that sometimes she would wake up in the morning with cuts and bruises because she had fallen over the night before. She said: "I was getting so drunk all the time I thought if I carried on I was going to kill myself."
That thought frightened Jazmin into dealing with her drink problem. Now she says she is channelling her energies into campaigning for tougher laws on sex offenders.
Her petition reads: "We the undersigned call on the Prime Minister to make all sex offenders remain on the register for life no matter the crime, for service providers and search engines to be better policed regarding child abuse images and harder sentences on those caught with indecent images of children."
Outside of Wales, Shropshire has the biggest percentage of its population who signed the petition.
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