April Jones funeral: 'beginning of an end to horrific case'
Mourners asked to wear pink to remember April, 5, who was abducted and killed almost a year ago
HUNDREDS of mourners dressed in pink are expected to attend the funeral today of murdered April Jones in her home town of Machynlleth, Powys.
The five-year-old was kidnapped by 47-year-old Mark Bridger from outside her home on 1 October last year and killed.
Her disappearance sparked the biggest missing person search in UK police history but April's body was never found. Police did, however, discover bone fragments in a fire at Bridger's home, and it is these fragments that will be buried today.
Mourners have been asked to wear April's favourite colour pink and her parents Paul and Coral have asked for donations to sponsor a five-year-old girl in Uganda.
April's coffin will be carried on a horse-drawn carriage from her home on the Bryn-y-Gog estate to St Peter's Church in the town for a midday service. The head-teacher and another teacher from April's school will each read a poem and balloons will be released at the end of the service.
Rev Kathleen Rogers, who will conduct the funeral, told the BBC: "It's hopefully a beginning of an ending, a beginning of an acceptance perhaps of this awful tragedy that has happened. Everybody needs that and more so perhaps in this case because it's been such a horrific case."
Bridger, a former abattoir worker and father of six, will spend the rest of his life in prison after being given a 'whole life order' - the maximum sentence a judge can impose on a defendant.
He was accused of concocting a "web of lies" to cover up the murder, initially claiming he had ran over and killed April but could not remember what he did with the body as he was too drunk.
The prosecution claimed the murder was sexually motivated after images of child abuse were found on his laptop. A jury at Mold Crown Court, Flintshire, took just four hours and six minutes to convict him of her murder and abduction. ·