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EDITIONS
Thursday, 10 October, 2002, 14:35 GMT 15:35 UK
Danielle's mother tells of last sighting
Danielle Jones
Danielle's body has never been found
The mother of missing Essex schoolgirl Danielle Jones has told a jury of the last time she saw her daughter.

Linda Jones, 42, of East Tilbury, Essex, told Chelmsford Crown Court how she saw Danielle walk out of the door in her school uniform on 18 June last year.

She vanished shortly after being seen walking towards a bus stop.

Mrs Jones told the jury her 15-year-old daughter was "mature and sensible and afraid of the dark".


You can be sure that Danielle did not voluntarily leave home and that she is now sadly dead

Orlando Pownall, prosecuting
She said Danielle had no serious boyfriends and looked her age.

Danielle's uncle, Stuart Campbell, 44, of Grays, Essex, denies abducting and murdering her.

Orlando Pownall, QC, prosecuting, told the court on Thursday although the Crown could not say where he disposed of the body, Mr Campbell knew where Danielle was.

"There is compelling evidence which shows that the defendant and the defendant alone knows where Danielle is," he told the jury.

"If you are sure that he was there that morning in his blue van, you can be sure that the defendant is responsible for her disappearance and her death.

Bank account

"Danielle had everything to live for. You can be sure that Danielle did not voluntarily leave home and that she is now sadly dead."

"The 400 in her bank account is still there gathering interest.

'Family misery'

"She had no reason to want to leave home and every reason to go to school that morning.

"If she was alive and well she would have contacted her family and friends and avoided causing them the misery that followed her disappearance."

Mrs Jones said that on the day before Danielle disappeared - Father's Day - there had been "an atmosphere" between the youngster and her father Tony.

She said Danielle had not given her father a Father's Day card on that Sunday, but she and her husband had found a Father's Day card in their bedroom after she disappeared.

Mrs Jones began to cry as Mr Pownall questioned her about the morning the teenager disappeared.

Vanished

The mother said Danielle had been on a geography trip the previous week and seemed keen to tell her friends about it.

Mrs Jones said Mr Campbell's visits to the Jones household increased from about Christmas 2000 and that he became a very frequent visitor to the house.

She said the defendant often picked her daughter up from the school bus stop in the afternoon and would sometimes do this twice a week.

Danielle vanished in June 2001 after being seen walking to catch a bus to school near her home in East Tilbury, Essex.

The hearing was adjourned until Monday.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
George Eykyn reports
"The trial is expected to last for up to ten weeks"
The BBC's Nick Thatcher
"It's been an incredibly difficult day for Mrs Jones"
See also:

09 Oct 02 | England
09 Oct 02 | England
29 Oct 02 | England
02 Oct 02 | England
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