In hospital wing cell with TV set, Bridger told friend he’d ‘get off’ – and now he’s preparing appeal
Prison letters written by April Jones’s killer Mark Bridger reveal that he was convinced the jury would clear him of murder.
With a confidence never supported by the evidence, he insists April’s death was an accident and his legal ‘team’ would prove it.
The Mail On Sunday understands that in a phone call since his conviction, Bridger has also told a friend he wants to appeal, and claimed he had ‘confessed nothing’ to police.
Bridger boasts he has adapted to prison life, has a TV in his cell and arrogantly describes prison food as ‘acceptable’.
In a letter from HMP Manchester, during the case, he admitted that the prosecution were ‘giving it some’. But he insisted his lawyer, Brendan Kelly QC, would ensure the jury saw an alternative explanation.
Nowhere in his letters does he show any hint of remorse.
He offers no condolences to April’s parents, Paul and Coral Jones, nor does he mention the memory lapse which has supposedly prevented him revealing where her body is.
He has been kept on the hospital wing to prevent revenge attacks by other inmates – a daily fear for paedophiles and child killers.
He told one friend in a phone call of threats to ‘slice’ him with a razor.
Reports yesterday claimed that his conviction as a paedophile murderer meant they were ‘queuing up’ to attack him.
He is expected to be moved to Wakefield, West Yorkshire, or Long Lartin, Worcestershire, within a few weeks.
For the Bryn-Y-Gog estate in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, where April was snatched on October 1 last year, meanwhile, Bridger’s conviction already appears to have been cathartic.
Local councillor Michael Williams said that over the past eight months he had noticed how few children had been seen playing without parental supervision. ‘Quietly, they have started to play out again on their own,’ he said.
‘We have had beautiful weather this last week and it has been wonderful to see. Machynlleth did change and we will never forget little April.
‘Paul and Coral Jones have been inspirational in the face of Mark Bridger’s evil and wicked act. But we have to move on for the sake of all our children. I include Mark Bridger’s own children in that.
‘While I have little hope that Bridger will help, he could ease the suffering by telling Coral, Paul and our whole community what he did with April’s body.’
Friends of Bridger say he knew the remote hills and woods around Machynlleth as well as anyone.
That knowledge partly stemmed from his time as an instructor at the Newlands adventure training centre – now the site of April’s school.
Police believe he may have dumped her remains in some unknown mineshaft or cave system.
One friend said: ‘He’s into the whole survivalist thing – going out in the wild; living off the land.
‘He knows the area round here as well as anyone. He spent years of his life hunting and walking on the hills.
‘He could also be a handy man in a fight. A tough b*****d.’
Bridger was obsessed with knives and guns and would spend hours at a local shooting range. He was also fond of game shooting and poaching, setting illegal nets along Machynlleth’s River Dovey during the spring salmon run.
‘His other big love was messing about with cars and motorbikes,’ said the friend.
‘He was a good mechanic. He would do up cars to go banger-racing at Aberystwyth.
‘But he was not particularly sociable. He did most of his drinking at home and for the last few years most of those close to him have regarded him as an alcoholic.
‘I would say April’s father Paul was a pretty close friend – Mark was often round there because his own kids live on the same estate.’