The father of murdered schoolgirl April Jones had to hear of his daughter’s death all over again after a virus damaged his memory, her mother has said.
Paul Jones, 49, asked why his daughter – who was murdered by paedophile Mark Bridger in 2012 – had not been to see him as he recovered from a severe case of encephalitis.
April’s mother Coral told the Sunday People her husband had recognised April, who was five when she was killed, in family photos used to jog his memory after suffering the potentially lethal brain condition.
She said: “He asked, ‘What happened to April?’ I had to tell him she was no longer with us and that she’d been killed.
“He broke down. It was an awful conversation because he was so emotional and it was so hard for me to speak about it. I couldn’t go on, I just couldn’t tell him any more. It was like reliving it all over again.”
April was snatched from outside her home in Machynlleth, mid Wales, on October 1 2012.
Bridger was convicted of her murder, child abduction and perverting the course of justice.
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The former lifeguard refused to tell police what he had done with her body – although officers did recover fragments of her skull from his fireplace.
He was sentenced to a whole life tariff, meaning he will die behind bars.
Mrs Jones said her husband’s illness had come as a major blow following the harrowing ordeal of their daughter’s death.
She said: “How much more can my family take? I’ve already lost my daughter and now I have lost my soulmate and my rock and I feel so alone.
“Paul is the only person who can truly understand the pain I have felt over losing April.”
Mr Jones is thought to have fallen ill 18 months ago and spent more than a year in hospital recovering.
The infection and resulting brain swelling led to memory loss affecting most of the last decade, although Mrs Jones said he remembers some people closest to him.