Tia Sharp may have been smothered before body was wrapped in black bed sheet and bin bag and hidden in loft
Tia Sharp, the 12-year-old whose body was found in her
grandmother’s loft last week, may have been smothered before her body was
wrapped in a black bed sheet and bin bag and hidden.
The details emerged as Stuart Hazell, the grandmother’s partner, appeared in a south London court via videolink for the first time accused of murdering the schoolgirl, whose disappearance sparked a huge search by scores of officers and volunteers.
Mr Hazell, 37, remained at a south London police station for today’s hearing and was pictured on screens at Camberwell Green magistrates’ court sitting behind a table shuffling papers with a police officer standing behind him. He was wearing a blue t-shirt with some writing on the front, which was illegible.
He was accused of murdering Tia Sharp at some time between August 2 – the day before the girl was reported missing - and August 11. Mr Hazell spoke only to confirm his name, age and address and to say that he understood the charge against him during the three-minute hearing at Camberwell Green magistrates court. He will next appear at the Old Bailey on Wednesday.
No other family members were at the court today. Mr Hazell is the partner of Christine Sharp, 46, who was arrested on suspicion of murder but bailed until October. A neighbour, Paul Meehan, was also arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender and later bailed.
The body was found after a week-long search focused around the house on The Lindens estate in New Addington, south London, where Tia often stayed with her grandmother. Mr Hazell was arrested several hours later in south London.
Police apologised to the girl’s mother, Natalie Sharp, at the weekend after it emerged that the body was not found until a fourth search at the house. A dog team and a two-hour search at the small terrace house had both previously failed to uncover any sign of the girl.
Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart bromance continues: X-Men star gushes about 'pussy cat' BFF Patrick Stewart
David Cameron stung by jellyfish: PM hurt after ignoring advice of locals while on holiday
South Korea ferry: Vice principal rescued from sinking ship found hanged
Hollande's affair: Catherine Deneuve and Sophie Marceau in war of words over President's relationship with Julie Gayet
Kim Jong-un, crowds and contraband kit: Inside North Korea with the the Pyongyang marathon winner
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 1 KFC 'sorry' after lesbian couple are kicked out of Bath restaurant for 'heavy petting'
- 2 Dylan Tombides: West Ham confirm 20-year-old striker has died after battle with cancer
- 3 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 4 'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
- 5 PFA Player of the Year: Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard all nominated as Liverpool dominate award shortlist