Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 April 2014

Accused 'took photo of dead Tia'

The man accused of murdering 12-year-old Tia Sharp is due to face trial at the Old Bailey

The man accused of murdering schoolgirl Tia Sharp took a photograph of the naked 12-year-old dead on her bed, prosecutors have alleged.

Andrew Edis QC showed jurors at the Old Bailey the image that is allegedly of Tia, although the girl's face cannot be seen, on her bed at her grandmother's house in south London.

Blood could be seen on the bed clothes in the picture, said to have been taken in the early hours of August 3 when Tia died.

Tia's mother and several family members left the court visibly distressed as the case was opened.

Prosecutors claim Stuart Hazell, her grandmother's former partner, had a sexual attraction to Tia, and murdered her after sexually assaulting her.

Hazell, 37, who denies murder, shook his head as the image was shown.

Andrew Edis QC said that a sex toy with Tia's blood on it was found at her grandmother's house after she died.

He said: "The prosecution case is that Stuart Hazell had a sexual attraction for Tia Sharp, that there was some form of sexual assault, something of that kind, and that was the reason he killed her."

Mr Edis told the jury that they will have to decide whether Hazell is guilty of murder, or whether Tia died in an accident.

Tia died on the night of August 2/3, but her body was only found on August 10 last year, the court heard, in the loft at her grandmother's house.

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