Case: Missing: The murder of Tia Sharp
Victim
Name:
Tia Sharp
Gender:
Female
Date:
2012-08-03
Nationality:
British
Weapon:
None
Killer
Name:
Stuart Hazell
Gender:
Male
Nationality:
British
Status: Solved
Categories: Child Killings (3 to 12...
Case synopsis:

Twelve year-old Tia Sharp was found dead at her grandmother's home in New Addington, south London, on August 10, 2012.

Tia had been reported missing by her family seven days earlier on the evening of Friday, August 3, after she failed to turn up for dinner.

A full two-hour search of the house at 20 The Lindens took place on August 5 but nothing was found.

Detectives made a third visit to the house on August 8 with a body recovery dog. But it was only on August 10 that a body was found in the loft wrapped in plastic bin bags. Two police officers received 'words of advice' following an internal review and a PC was removed from search duties.

Stuart Edward Hazell, 37 (26/5/75) of The Lindens, New Addington was arrested later that day. He was the partner of Tia's grandmother Christine Bicknell. Hazell was charged with the murder of Tia Sharp on August 12.

Initial coverage of the murder investigation, including statements from the Metropolitan Police, links to reports, a Youtube appeal video and photographs of Tia.

Hazell went on trial at the Old Bailey on May 7, 2013. The prosecution case is that Hazell sexually assaulted the schoolgirl before killing her on the night of 2/3 August 2012.

Jurors were shown a photograph of what the prosecution claim was Tia's naked, dead body on her bed at the house, said to have been taken by Hazell. He had also secretly filmed her sleeping and rubbing cream into her legs in the weeks before her death.

The court heard Tia's blood was found on Hazell's belt and a sex toy in the bedroom Hazell shared with Tia's grandmother Christine Bicknell.

Hazell was expected to claim Tia died in an accidental fall down stairs and that he panicked and hid her body in the loft.

On the morning of the fifth day of the trial, 13 May 2013, Hazell dramatically pleaded guilty to murder. The following day he was jailed for life with a minimum of 38 years before parole.

Link to a daily roundup of coverage of the trial including photographs of the exhibits, CCTV footage of Tia's last journey and an excerpt from the police interview.

Stuart HazellTia Sharp

Killer Stuart Hazell (left) and his step-granddaughter Tia Sharp

Senior Investigating Officer DCI Nick Scola, of the Homicide and Serious Crime Command, said: "The conviction today of Stuart Hazell for the murder of 12-year-old Tia Sharp in August 2012 will, I hope, bring some closure for her family who have seen justice served. However, Hazell’s conviction will never bring Tia back and her family will have to live with her loss for the rest of their lives.

"Tia was murdered by a man who had gained the trust of Tia’s family and who, on that day, was tasked with looking after her whilst her grandmother was at work. Hazell abused that position of trust by planning an assault on Tia that ultimately led to her murder.

"The evidence was overwhelming and clearly Hazell realised he had no choice but to plead guilty. However, he put Tia's family through a week of heart-breaking evidence in court and I wish for their sakes he had admitted his guilt sooner.

"Hazell is an extremely dangerous individual who poses a significant threat to young girls and it is only right that he should be imprisoned and removed from society so that he can no longer pose any risk.

"I would like to pay tribute to Tia’s family for showing such courage and stamina throughout this horrendous ordeal - from the time of the murder through to the conviction - and I truly hope they can move forward with their lives in the knowledge that Hazell will now pay for his crime."

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