April Jones' Parents Coral And Paul Give First TV Interview

09/04/2015 11:40 | Updated 09 June 2015

April Jones's parents Coral and Paul give first TV interview

Coral and Paul Jones have given their first television interview since their five-year-old daughter April was murdered two and a half years ago.

In a BBC documentary- to be screened tonight (April 9) - the parents and April's older sister Jazmin talk about their devastating loss and of their feelings towards April's killer Mark Bridger.

In the programme, Coral says: "When April was taken from us it hit us all hard. I just couldn't go out, I couldn't meet people, I didn't want to know anybody. So I stayed most of my life like this – and I still do some days now.

"And it's two-and-a-half years on.

"When you go out somewhere for the day and you're having a good time all of a sudden you get a horrible feeling in your body that you shouldn't be enjoying yourself because April's not here.

"I feel guilty for doing it but I've got to carry on because I've got my two kids – and they mean the world to me."

April's sister Jazmin, who was 17 when April was abducted, shared a bedroom with her younger sister. She told the show: "I found it a lot easier coming in here [to the bedroom they shared], knowing that her bag was still there – even having a little bit of hope that she might come back, but knowing in my heart she wasn't, helped me a lot.

"If I could just turn over and look at her bag, or could pick up one of her toys from the floor, and just cuddle it, and have something of her that was still real, in a way.

"I can now sleep in the bedroom fine, whereas mum and dad do still struggle to come into it, with April not being here. Even though everything's changed they still struggle."

Jazmin says her brother Harley, 10 at the time of the murder, was deeply affected.

She said: "They were Tweedledum and Tweedledee, basically. They did everything together. When he went back to school he had all of his friends round him.

"With mum and dad going in and out of court, it was hard on him."

Speaking of Bridger, who is now serving life, Paul said: "I knew him from before I came here – only vaguely. We actually went fishing once, with a mutual friend. Other than that I don't really know him.

"He was always polite to talk to and everything – a little bit odd. I didn't think there was anybody around here who could be capable of any kind of evil like that."

April Jones's parents Coral and Paul give first TV interview

On the day April went missing she had been allowed to stay out playing for 15 minutes extra after getting a good school report.

Paul tells the programme: "When Harley came back screaming and said she'd left her bike behind – she went everywhere on her bike, she does everything on her bike, she wouldn't leave her bike there for nothing – a feeling came over me and I knew she was gone."

Before Bridger's trial, Paul wrote a letter to April in his diary which said: "I was listening to the schoolkids playing in primary school today. You and your friends would be there, April.

"I can't stop thinking of you. Did you suffer? Were you scared? How did he kill you? I have pulled myself apart thinking about it on my own. I wish you were in my arms. I love you. Dad."

Coral explains why she had to go to Bridger's trial.

She says: "I had to go to court. I wanted to face him. I just stared at him. I wished I had laser eyes. I'd have lasered him completely from top to toe.

"I even said 'Give me a nail gun, I'll go in there, he'll never move again, I'll just nail him until he's said where she is'. I made sure he knew we were there. I made sure he could see us."

Paul says: "We were told about the pornographic images of children on the computer. There were also [details of] local girls on that computer as well, youngish girls."

Jazmin tells the programme: "They found out that he had pictures of me and April on his computer, from Facebook. He tried to add me on Facebook, a year or couple before anything happened.

"I was just 'Who are you?'. And he said 'I'm your dad's friend'. I was just like 'But you don't know me'. I declined it."

Coral says she felt compelled to go to Bridger's cottage after he was convicted.

She tells the film-makers: "I had to know what happened. I had to know where. I'm glad I've gone there because if I never knew or went where it was it would always be in my mind.

"When we went to the house the furniture wasn't in there. It was like arrows where they found the blood and the big pile of blood they found from the fire was covered over with a big plastic sheet."

Paul adds: "The thing that made me cringe was you could see lines on the floor where a knife had been drawn on the floor. And they're only in that one spot there."

Coral says: "You don't need to imagine. You can tell by looking at that one spot what happened."

Now April's parents are campaigning for tougher sentences for paedophiles, the elimination of child pornography from the internet, and more psychiatric help for people who feel sexually attracted to children before they act on their impulses.

Paul tells people who are attracted to children: "If you have got the notion that you like kids like that or anything like that, if you go and ask for help then you deserve a chance. But if you don't ask for help and you commit a crime then you are a paedophile."

Week In Week Out: Life After April; 9pm BBC One Wales, April 9


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