Mark Bridger, the man charged with the abduction and murder of five-year-old April Jones, has been remanded in custody until January.

Appearing via a video link at Caernarfon crown court from a prison in Manchester, Bridger, 46, also stood also accused of perverting the course of justice relating to attempting to dispose of and conceal the missing five-year-old's body.

There was no application for bail. He will next appear in court for a plea hearing on 11 January.

No members of the girl's families were present for the hearing.

Bridger, a former lifeguard, cried when he appeared in magistrates court earlier in the week.

The search for April has entered its ninth day. She has not been seen since she was spotted entering a vehicle near her home on the Bryn-y-Gog estate in the Welsh town of Machynlleth. Bridger was arrested the following day.

Police have said they fear they will never find the girl's body, but have vowed to continue the search.

Dyfed Powys Police Supt Ian John said: "We continue to have the support of a whole range of specialist teams as we continue our efforts. We will see change in resourcing but not in intensity as we move forward with the search."

A week after April vanished, residents of her town released a Chinese lantern into the air in tribute to her.