The West

Hopes fade in search for April Jones
Hopes fade in search for April Jones

Officers searching for a child in the UK are bracing themselves for the fact that they might never find her.

Superintendent Ian John said hopes were fading that police would discover five-year-old April Jones, who was last seen getting into a vehicle on October 1.

April had been playing on her bicycle with a friend near her home in the town of Machynlleth.

A friend of her family, former lifeguard Mark Bridger, 46, appeared in court on Monday accused of her abduction and murder.

Angry crowds gathered to confront the alleged offender as he appeared at Aberystwyth Magistrate's Court.

Bridger cried as he spoke to confirm his name, age and address, The Daily Mail said.

He was remanded in custody and will appear at Caernarfon Crown Court on Wednesday.

Later on Monday, April's parents, Coral and Paul, urged people to remember their "angelic" child.

"More than 200 people joined April's parents as they released a Chinese lantern from their garden - exactly a week after their little girl was seen alive," The Mail said.

Supt John said there was no official cut-off point in the search for April.

"We have to prepare for the time when we accept that we might never find April," he said.

"But we are optimistic that the work we are doing is going to give us the best possible chance."

Meanwhile, a 19-year-old man from Lancashire has been jailed for 12 weeks after admitting that he made grossly offensive comments on his Facebook page about April and Madeleine McCann, who went missing during a family holiday in Portugal in 2007.

Matthew Woods posted the derogatory comments after getting the idea from a website that 'trades in sick jokes', The Mail reported.

"He was sent to prison for three months amid a chorus of cheers and clapping across the courtroom.

A specialist police search team scours the heathland and hills surrounding the town of Machynlleth in their quest to find missing five-year-old April Jones. Picture: Getty Images

"The public gallery erupted while Woods choked back tears as JP Dr Bill Hudson told him: 'This was a disgusting and despicable crime which the bench find completely abhorrent."

Dr Hudson said the comments were shocking.

"So much so, no right-thinking person in society should have communicated to them such distress," he said.

"The families of those children should not be subjected to any use of social media like this.

"We should all be aware of the sensitivity of other people and especially the family involved in such statements made on Twitter, Facebook and such like.

"We felt there was no other sentence which would convey the abhorrence that many people have for this sort of crime."

The West Australian

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