Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Jury sees last living images of Tia

Stuart Hazell is accused of murdering 12-year-old Tia Sharp

The last images of murdered schoolgirl Tia Sharp alive have been shown to a jury, as the panel heard how she "idolised" her alleged killer.

Jurors at the trial of Stuart Hazell, accused of sexually assaulting then killing the 12-year-old before hiding her body in a loft, were shown CCTV of the pair meeting at a train station on the afternoon of August 2.

They included footage of the pair walking along a platform after getting off a tram at Gravel Hill station, shopping in a branch of the Co-op supermarket and travelling on a T31 bus.

It is claimed that that night, Hazell murdered the schoolgirl at the home he shared with her grandmother Christine Bicknell, before hiding her body in the loft.

Tia's body was found a week later, when the smell of her decomposing corpse started to permeate through the house in New Addington, south London.

As the jury at the Old Bailey was told details about the discovery of Tia's body in the loft by police officers, her mother Natalie Sharp fled the courtroom in tears and did not return.

Hazell, 37, of New Addington, denies murdering the schoolgirl between August 2 and 10 last year.

A statement from his former partner Ms Bicknell, read to the jury, described how Tia "idolised" Hazell and was "his cling-on".

She said: "When Tia went missing it didn't cross my mind that she could be dead. I always thought she was coming home. It didn't cross my mind that he would hurt her. He loved Tia, she idolised him."

She said Tia would frequently stay at her house, often asking Hazell before she asked her, and said all her grandchildren "loved him to pieces".

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