April Jones case: Jury process in Mark Bridger trial continues on Tuesday

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Media captionMark Bridger sat with two prison officers

Jury selection in the trial of the man accused of murdering missing five-year-old April Jones has finished for the day at Mold Crown Court.

Mark Bridger, 47, from Ceinws, Machynlleth, Powys, denies abducting and murdering April, and intending to pervert the course of justice.

April went missing as she played with friends near her home in Machynlleth on 1 October and has never been found.

Jury selection will continue on Tuesday.

Mr Bridger, wearing a short-sleeved blue shirt and tie, sat in court flanked by two prison officers.

April's parents, Coral and Paul Jones, also arrived at the court ahead of the trial, which could last until the middle of June.

On Monday, about 50 potential jurors were called into court by the judge, Mr Justice John Griffith Williams.

He gave them directions and those who felt they could not sit on the jury spoke to the judge and their reasons were either accepted or rejected.

He allowed 30 potential jurors to retire until Tuesday to consider the issues he has raised.

They were asked to return on Tuesday so a jury of 12 can be selected by ballot.

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Media captionCoral Jones arrives at Mold Crown Court with her husband Paul

The judge said those not selected on Tuesday should consider themselves on a reserve list should any problems arise.

When the jury panel was brought into court on Monday morning, he told them: "I don't know if you have been reading your newspapers or listening to the news but, if you have, you will probably have worked out by now that I am about to start the trial which arises out of the alleged murder of April Jones in Machynlleth last October.

"It is very important that no person in the jury with any present or past connection with the Machynlleth area should sit on the trial, and certainly no connection which would cause concern about that juror sitting on the case."

The potential jury members were also told arrangements had been made for the jury to go to Machynlleth on Thursday to visit various sites.

The Monday afternoon session was taken up by legal argument.

April's disappearance sparked one of the largest police searches in UK history.

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