*Stepgran weeps at 'surreal' events around Tia's death
*Family struggling to come to terms with grim discovery
*Grandmother's boyfriend charged with schoolgirl's
*Serious case review launched into Tia's death by Merton
The father of Tia Sharp has demanded justice for his 12-year-old
daughter, whose bruised body was found dumped in the
loft of her grandmother's home.
Visiting a memorial of flowers, toys and tributes near the
schoolgirl’s home yesterday, her natural father Steve
Carter, 30, said: ‘I just want to get justice for my
daughter, the proper way.
‘The last time I saw Tia she jumped in my arms. She told me about
her school and what she was doing. She called me Dad.
I’ll miss her for ever.’
Sympathy: Steven Carter and three women cry
at the spot where mourners have gathered to
pay their respects to Tia
Display of emotion: Tia's father Steven
Carter is helped by police as he puts up a
banner in his daughter's memory
Upset: Tia Sharp's father, Steven Carter, is
supported by three women as he views the
flowers left by mourners
Heartbroken: Steve Carter, Tia's father,
visits the scene close to where Tia's body
Mr Carter spoke after his 12-year-old daughter was found wrapped in
a black bed sheet and a black plastic bin bag by police
who had been searching for the missing schoolgirl for
It has been revealed detectives suspect the schoolgirl was probably
smothered before her body was hidden in the attic.
A pathologist found no obvious major injuries to her body, leading
to the theory that she was smothered or strangled.
An initial examination uncovered bruising on her lower body but
forensic experts have been hampered by the badly
decomposed state of the corpse when it was finally
recovered from the sweltering roof space last Friday.
Although Tia had clearly been dead for some time, officers have not
been able to rule out that the schoolgirl was alive when
colleagues first visited the council house in New
Addington, near Croydon, South London, after she
vanished a week earlier.
Stuart Hazell, 37, the boyfriend of her grandmother Christine
Sharp, 46, is accused of murdering Tia
Tia Sharp, 12, was found at her
grandmother's home in New Addington,
Croydon. Stuart Hazell has been charged with
Mr Carter added that he hasn’t spoken to Tia’s mother, his
ex-partner Natalie, since news broke of their daughter’s
He said: ‘I spoke to her before that, I told her to go home and
wait for her. I’ve not spoken to her since. She’s
heartbroken, that’s her baby girl.’
Tia's 'step-grandmother' wept with grief yesterday over the death
of the little girl whose body was found dumped in her
Angie Niles, whose son David is Tia's mother's boyfriend, told how
she would look after the little girl every other weekend
and would treat her by taking her to the shops and
buying her little gifts.
She sobbed as she told The Sun: 'You see stories about
Madeline McCann or James Bulger and you think it must be
awful what the family are feeling.
'But you switch the telly off because it is not actually happening
'It is just awful, I can't find the words to describe how terrible
Shock: Tia Sharp's mother Natalie sobs
uncontrollably as she leaves a message of
Devastated: Distraught David Niles and
Natalie Sharp arrive to lay flowers close to
Tia's body was discovered
'Surreal': The family are struggling to come
to terms with Tia's gruesome death
The latest details came as her grandmother’s boyfriend Stuart
Hazell, 37, appeared in court via video link accused of
The unemployed painter and decorator was not brought to court over
fears a public appearance could attract a baying mob.
Wearing a dark blue T-shirt, Hazell spoke only to confirm he
understood the charge he faces and his personal details,
giving his address as the house he shared with Tia’s
He will appear before the Old Bailey tomorrow and was remanded in
Ms Niles told The Sun that the family were struggling to come to
terms with the 'surreal' events.
She said that her son, David, was in denial that the body
discovered in the attic was Tia until Sunday and she has
been trying to support him through the difficult times,
The Sun reported
Defendant: Stuart Hazell appeared at court
via video-link in front of magistrates after
being charged with the murder of his
In court: Tia Sharp's step-grandfather
Stuart Hazell appeared via video link for
fear of attracting a baying crowd
Tia's body was found wrapped in bin bags
after sniffer dogs alerted police to her
The Metropolitan police have been widely attacked for their delays
in discovering the schoolgirl's body, despite searching
the house three times before they found her.
They blamed their mistake on 'human error' and have apologised to
Officers found Tia’s body in plain view in the loft.
Detectives are investigating whether her body was moved and whether
this explains how it was missed during a two-hour search
the previous Sunday.
Not the stepgran is also criticizing police for failing to keep her
Ms Niles said she was visited by officers who assured her they
would keep her updates, but have only visited once to
say a family liaison officer would visit - but who not
yet contacted her.
A serious case review has been launched into the death of the
Serious Case Reviews are carried out when a child has died to look
at the role played by local agencies in the life of that
child and their family. The review aims to find out if
any lessons can be learned about ensuring children’s
Merton Council, which has responsibility for Mitcham, where Tia had
lived with her mother Natalie, said it was 'standard
procedure' to carry out a review.
Chief executive Ged Curran said: 'Our thoughts and condolences go
out to all those who knew Tia.
'The local safeguarding children board will now commission a
serious case review, the standard procedure in a tragic
case such as this. The review will be assisted by the
police, health services and local authorities.'
The Government’s guidance on the matter, Working Together To
Safeguard Children, states: 'The prime purpose of a
Serious Case Review (SCR) is for agencies and
individuals to learn lessons to improve the way in which
they work both individually and collectively to
safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
'The lessons learned should be disseminated effectively, and the
recommendations should be implemented in a timely manner
so that the changes required result, wherever possible,
in children being protected from suffering or being
likely to suffer harm in the future.'
Tia’s 46-year-old grandmother Mrs Sharp, a carer at a Croydon home
for autistic children, has not been seen since she was
questioned on suspicion of murder and released on bail
at the weekend.
She has been told she can never return home because of the anger of
friends and neighbours.
Her next-door neighbour, Paul Meehan, 39, was questioned on
suspicion of assisting an offender and released.
A carpet of floral tributes and heartfelt
condolences is spread across the pavement
near to where Tia was found
Tribute: David Niles, the partner of Tia
Sharp's mother Natalie, lays flowers close
to the schoolgirl's grandmother's house
Grief: Mourners comfort each other at a
makeshift shrine for Tia Sharp near her
grandmother's home in New Addington, South