april jones
April Jones went missing in 2012 Channel 5

The father of murdered little girl April Jones has forgotten her tragic death after he developed a debilitating brain virus.

Paul Jones, 49, was forced to relive the nightmare of his five-year-old daughter's murder in 2012 after he suffered with the brain-swelling virus encephalitis.

The child's mother Coral explained to The Sunday People that her husband "broke down" in tears after he was told the reason why April would not be visiting him in hospital.

She said: "I had to tell him she was no longer with us and 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."

Paul had cycled for charity from Edinburgh to London in his daughter's memory just weeks before being struck down with the virus 18 months ago.

The fitness fanatic , who is the father of Jazmin, 22 and Harley, 16, was rushed to hospital after developing a cold sore and flu-like symptoms and began hallucinating.

He has been left permanently brain damaged by the condition, with doctors claiming it is one of the worst cases of encephalitis they have ever seen.

Paul is currently receiving treatment at a hospital in Machynlleth, Powys, Wales, though Coral is keen to bring him home.

The grieving mother added: "How much more can my family take? I've already lost my daughter and now I have lost my soul mate and my rock and I feel so alone."

April, from Machynlleth, is still missing after being sighted willingly getting into a vehicle near her home. Her disappearance generated a large amount of national and international news coverage.

Mark Bridger was found guilty of her abduction and murder in 2013, in addition to perverting the course of justice. He was sentenced to life imprisonment and the trial judge ordered that he never be released from prison.

A day after Coral made an appeal for information about her missing daughter, the then-Prime Minister David Cameron brought national attention to her case by commenting: "Clearly having this happen to you, and the fact that she suffers from cerebral palsy, something I know a little about from my own children, only makes this worse. My appeal would be to everyone. If you know anything, if you saw anything, heard anything, have any ideas you can bring forward, talk to the police."