Hazell faces court over Tia murder

Western Telegraph: A man has appeared before magistrates charged with the murder of Tia Sharp A man has appeared before magistrates charged with the murder of Tia Sharp

The man accused of murdering schoolgirl Tia Sharp has been remanded in custody after appearing at court.

Stuart Hazell, 37, sounded emotional as he spoke to confirm his name and date of birth.

His voice cracked when he was asked to confirm his address, The Lindens, New Addington, south London, where Tia was found dead.

Hazell appeared from Sutton police station by video link at Camberwell Green Magistrates' Court, south-east London. He was dressed in a blue T-shirt and sat alone at a table with a policewoman standing behind him.

No plea was entered to the charge, which accuses him of murdering the youngster between August 2 and 11. Her body was found on Friday, a week after she was reported missing and after a search was launched for her.

Hazell will appear at the Old Bailey on Wednesday, when there might be a bail application. A further date for a preliminary hearing was recorded as November 19.

Hazell is the partner of Tia's grandmother Christine Sharp, 46. She was arrested on suspicion of murder but bailed on Sunday pending further inquiries along with her next door neighbour Paul Meehan, 39, who was bailed on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Despite visiting the terraced property on several occasions, investigators only discovered Tia's body on Friday evening. Officers have apologised to Tia's mother, Natalie Sharp, for the delay in locating her body.

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".

Tia's natural father, Steven Carter, said he would miss her forever. He told ITV News: "I'm heartbroken, angry, robbed. Robbed of my beautiful little girl who I will never see again, hold, kiss, touch. I don't know what to say... I want justice for my daughter - the proper way."

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