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Neighbour jailed over murdered Tia

A neighbour of murdered Tia Sharp's grandmother has been jailed for lying about seeing her alive when she was already dead.

"Attention-seeking" Paul Meehan, 40, told police he saw the 12-year-old walk past his house.

But she had already been brutally murdered and her body hidden in the loft of her grandmother Christine Bicknell's home in Croydon, south London.

In May, Ms Bicknell's boyfriend Stuart Hazell was jailed for a minimum of 38 years for the youngster's murder in August last year.

District Judge Karen Hammond said Meehan basked in the attention of being a crucial witness as detectives searched and appealed for help finding Tia.

Jailing him for five months, she said: "You basked to some degree in the attention your disclosure brought you."

Meehan, a bus driver with one conviction for theft, looked down and closed his eyes when he was told his sentence would begin immediately.

Tia was murdered either late at night on Thursday August 2 last year or in the early morning of the following day at 20 The Lindens, New Addington, in south east London.

Despite being asked three times about Tia, Meehan did not tell officers he had seen her until late on August 6.

Croydon Magistrates' Court heard that his false information about Tia, described as detailed and vivid, threw police off Hazell's scent and gave her worried family false hope.


From Belfast Telegraph