Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Tia mother wants Hazell jail visit

Stuart Hazell has changed his plea to guilty in the trial of the murder of Tia Sharp

The mother of murdered schoolgirl Tia Sharp wants to visit Stuart Hazell in prison so she can ask why he killed her daughter, she has said.

Hazell, 37, was jailed for life with a minimum of 38 years yesterday. He changed his plea to guilty on the fifth day of his trial at the Old Bailey on Monday, having forced 12-year-old Tia's family to sit through days of shocking and graphic evidence, including a sickening picture of her taken after she died.

He had claimed Tia was killed in an accident when she fell down the stairs, but the court heard that the window cleaner sexually assaulted her before murdering her and hiding her body in the loft of the home he shared with her grandmother Christine Bicknell.

Hazell had lived with Ms Bicknell in New Addington, south London, for more than five years before Tia died, and developed a twisted sexual attraction for the schoolgirl who often stayed with them, and secretly filmed her while she was asleep.

Natalie Sharp, who briefly dated the convicted drug dealer before he began a relationship with her mother, told ITV's Daybreak she would have one question for Hazell if she visited him: "Just - 'why?'. But then, is he going to answer the questions? Then I want to put my hands around his throat."

Hazell murdered Tia when the pair were left alone on August 2 last year at the New Addington house while Ms Bicknell worked a night shift. After he murdered the 12-year-old, Hazell wrapped her body in a sheet and layers of plastic and hid it in the loft. It was not found until a week after Tia died due to two failed police searches of the loft, for which Scotland Yard has apologised.

Ms Sharp said Hazell had been trusted "100%" with her children and that she had not known of his violent streak. "He was like two different people," she told Daybreak. "The person I thought we knew was soft and gentle and friendly, there wasn't an inch of bad bone in him."

She added that Hazell changed his plea "five days too late" and that the trial meant the family had not yet had time to grieve. In an interview to be broadcast by ITV on Thursday night, Ms Sharp spoke of the graphic evidence the family had to sit through.

"All he had to do was (plead) guilty in the first place and no one would have known any of this bad stuff that she had to go through," she said. "She could have rested in peace on her own without all of this. And I hate him even more for this."

Ms Bicknell, also interviewed for the documentary, said she thought the schoolgirl was safe being left with her partner, but now realises "she'd have been safer on the streets with a stranger". She said she had no clue that Hazell was harbouring sick thoughts about her granddaughter. "He treated me like a queen," she told the documentary. "I lived with a man that I loved with all my heart, that was my world."

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