Inquest opened into death of Tia Sharp
Thursday 16 August 2012
A coroner opened an inquest into the death of schoolgirl Tia Sharp today where it was confirmed her body has now been formally identified.
No further details, including the cause of the 12-year-old's death, were given during the five-minute hearing.
Tia's body was discovered at her grandmother Christine Sharp's home in New Addington, south London, last Friday, more than a week after she was reported missing.
Detective Sergeant Eric Sword, of the Metropolitan Police's specialist crime operations unit based at Sutton, told the inquest that a post-mortem examination is still being carried out by a pathologist and is due to resume later today.
Asked by Coroner Roy Palmer if the body has now been formally identified, Mr Sword said: "From the checks that we have been able to carry out, yes."
"And that body is that of Tia Sharp?" the coroner asked.
"That is correct," he replied.
Dr Palmer said that once the post-mortem examination is completed, Stuart Hazell, who has been charged with Tia's murder, has the right to request a second one by a pathologist of his choice.
The coroner asked that this be carried out as soon as possible, if it is necessary, so that Tia's body can be released to her family.
The inquest, at South London Coroner's Court in Croydon, was adjourned until a later date.
Hazell, 37, from New Addington, is charged with murdering the schoolgirl between August 2 and 11.
He appeared at the Old Bailey via video-link from Belmarsh prison in south east London yesterday, and was remanded in custody to appear for a plea and case management hearing at the same court on November 19.
A provisional trial date was set for January 21 next year.
Hazell is the partner of Ms Sharp, 46, who was arrested on suspicion of murder but bailed on Sunday pending further inquiries.
Her next-door neighbour, Paul Meehan, 39, has been bailed on suspicion of assisting an offender.
Police only discovered Tia's body after several visits to the terraced property, and have apologised to her mother, Natalie Sharp, for the delay.
A serious case review has been launched into Tia's death by Merton Council, which has responsibility for Mitcham, south London, where Tia lived with her mother.
Migrants crossing the Mediterranean: Pope Francis joins calls for EU action on boat refugees
Yemen crisis: Meet the child soldiers who have forsaken books for Kalashnikovs
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Isis in Afghanistan: Group claims responsibility for Jalalabad suicide bombing that killed 35
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 1 Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats