Hazell to face court over Tia Sharp

A man is due to appear in court charged with the murder of Tia Sharp

Flowers and messages are left on the school gates at Raynes Park High School in Merton, South London, where Tia Sharp was a pupil

First published in National News © by

The man accused of murdering schoolgirl Tia Sharp is due to appear in court.

The 12-year-old's remains were found hidden at her grandmother Christine Sharp's terraced house more than a week after she was reported missing.

Sharp's partner Stuart Hazell, 37, was later charged with her murder.

His arrest followed a massive search for Tia which involved around 100 police officers and countless members of the local community. Despite visiting her grandmother's property in New Addington, south London, on several occasions, investigators only discovered Tia's body on Friday evening.

Police have not revealed where it was stowed but officers were seen taking a ladder into the house, sparking suggestions it may have been concealed in the loft. Hazell, who was previously interviewed as a potential witness, became the subject of a manhunt following the grim find.

He was arrested hours later in the south London borough of Merton after he was apparently spotted by a schoolgirl who saw him buying alcohol in an off-licence.

Sharp was similarly arrested on suspicion of murder and freed on bail. Her next-door neighbour Paul Meehan, 39, was detained by detectives on suspicion of assisting an offender. He was also bailed pending further inquiries.

Officers have apologised to Tia's mother, Natalie Sharp, for the delay in locating her body. On Sunday, the grieving mother wept as she left a tribute to her daughter alongside hundreds of flowers and cards which carpet the pavement near the 46-year-old grandmother's home.

A note believed to have been left by Ms Sharp, 30, read: "Our baby girl, we love you very much and always will. Sorry baby that this has happened, I wish I was there to protect you. We know you are safe now and you are at home with us everywhere we go. Love you, mum, dad, Jack and Harry. XXX".

Ms Sharp held her face in her hands as she arrived at the shrine supported by her partner David Niles.

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