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How April Jones' killer spent his early years in Croydon


THE revelation that April Jones' murderer Mark Bridger spent his formative years in Selsdon has shocked residents of the road he grew up in.

Now condemned to the rest of his life in jail for the abduction and murder of five-year-old April, Bridger's early years were spent in leafy Foxearth Road.

The Advertiser also understands Bridger's sister, Karen, still lives in Croydon.

Bridger, 47, was born in 1965 in Carshalton. The family are said to have been very involved at Selsdon Baptist Church, in Addington Road, where his father Graham was a "very affable" deacon.

His family attended Selsdon Baptist Church, where his father was a deacon and his mother and sister helped at the Sunday school.

He attended John Ruskin College, which he left with 7 CSEs before failing to complete an engineering diploma at Croydon College.

Bridger was said to have been difficult to manage; so much so that his father threw him out of their house.

A Selsdon resident, who asked not to be named, said her grandsons knew Bridger and had told her that "he seemed normal".

Bridger was sentenced to his "whole life" in jail last week despite pleading not guilty to the murder of April.

April vanished on October 1 last year after being let out to play on her bike near her home in Machynlleth, Wales.

Despite the UK's biggest police search in history, April's body has never been found.

Bridger, who was charged with the murder just five days after April went missing, claimed he ran her over accidentally in his car while drunk.

He also said he could not remember where he hid April's body but prosecutors said her bone fragments had been found in Bridger's house.

Judge John Griffith Williams, who handed Bridger his sentence at Mold Crown Court in Wales, called him a "pathological and glib liar".

He also said there was no doubt in his mind Bridger was a paedophile with a perverted interest in the violent sexual abuse of children.

Max Radachec, 46, of Foxearth Road, said: "It's shocking that he lived here.

"It is a bit odd that you can grow up in a nice area like this and turn out like he did, but he was clearly a nut."

Other Foxearth residents questioned whether life was a suitable sentencing for such a horrific crime.

Hugh Sullivan said: "Prison is too good for him.

"How he's like that when he's come from such a typical suburb I do not know."

Another resident, Vera Lewis, 89, who has lived in the road for 37 years, said it was strange to think of someone like Bridger living on her doorstep.

Mrs Lewis said: "It makes you wonder what sort of people there are out there these days."

How April Jones' killer spent his early years in Croydon

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