Accused ... Hazell heads back to jail yesterday
TRAGIC Tia Sharp was smothered and wrapped in a black
The 12-year-old’s bruised body was then stuffed in bin bags and put
in the loft at gran Christine’s home.
Tia's local council confirmed that a serious case review would be
launched into the schoolgirl's death.
Chief Executive Ged Curran, of Merton Council, 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
Tia's stepgran sobbed yesterday as she said: “You always think
things like this happen to someone else.”
Devastated Angie Niles added: “You see stories about
Madeleine McCann or James Bulger and you think it must
be awful what the family are feeling.
Murder victim ... Tia Sharp, 12
“But you switch the telly off and forget about it because it is not
actually happening to you.
“We are all in absolute shock and devastated.
“It is just awful, I can’t find the words to describe how terrible
Angie, whose son David is the partner of Tia’s mum Natalie, added:
“I am going to miss that little girl so much.
“She used to spend every other weekend with me and I used to take
her down to the shops and buy her little bits and
Angie was speaking yesterday as Stuart Hazell, 37-year-old
boyfriend of Tia’s grandmother Christine Sharp, appeared
in court by video link charged with her murder
Court ... Stuart Hazell
The video was streamed from Sutton police station to Camberwell
Green Magistrates’ Court in South London — amid
fears an angry mob would gather if Hazell appeared
in the dock.
Hazell, wearing a blue T shirt, looked down at his hands and his
voice cracked with emotion as he confirmed his name
The clerk of the court said: “You are charged with between August 2
and 11 within the jurisdiction of the Central
Criminal Court you murdered Tia Sharp. Do you
understand the charge?”
Hazell, who sat alone at a table with a policewoman standing behind
him, replied: “Yes.”
He was remanded in custody to face an Old Bailey trial. It is
thought he was being kept in isolation from other
prisoners in Belmarsh jail last night. Hazell was
charged after Tia’s body was found on Friday at the
home he shares with Tia’s gran Christine, 46.
Police believe Tia was smothered before being wrapped in a black
bed sheet and stuffed in bin bags, a source said.
Accused ... Hazell placed in a prison van
Her bruised body was discovered by officers on Friday when they
searched the loft of the terraced home in New Addington,
South London. Angie said the shock of Hazell’s arrest
was still sinking in. She added: “It is all a bit
surreal at the moment — as if we are on the outside
“But I think everyone is going to be up in the air until we know
the whos, whys and the wherefores.
“I don’t know Stuart Hazell. We talked a bit, hello and that. But I
think I only saw him a couple of times. I didn’t really
see or hear much about him or Natalie’s mum.” Angie said
Natalie, 31, David, 29, and their two young sons were
still struggling to come to terms with the tragedy.
She added: “I speak on the phone to David every day a couple of
“I’ve told him not to worry about me, because I have bad health,
but to concentrate on Natalie and the boys. He has got
to be strong for them. But obviously he is devastated.
“David was in complete denial that it was even Tia’s body right up
“I am just so glad all of his childhood friends have come out to
Video link ... artist’s impression of Hazell
“They have also been here to see me, the community has really come
Tia went missing 11 days ago while staying with gran Christine. It
was claimed she had last been seen leaving the house
for a shopping trip.
Police have been criticised for failing to find her body during
It is thought officers were at the property at least three times
before Friday evening’s grim discovery.
Angie yesterday said she is also angry with officers failing to
keep her informed.
She added: “They came here and saw me the Saturday after Tia
disappeared. They said, ‘We will keep in touch, we
will keep you in the loop’.
“Then it wasn’t until this Saturday night when they came to see me
and they said they would send a family liaison
officer round. But I haven’t heard anything or seen
anyone. We need support. I want David to support
Natalie, she is in shreds, or bits or however you
like to put it.”
Angie said the family have not yet talked about the tragedy.
In memory ... Tia’s dad pays his second
visit to New Addington shrine
She said: “It is so raw we haven’t been able to sit down and talk
as a family.
“We could end up making so many judgments and they might be wrong,
so until we know we don’t want to speculate.”
Christine was arrested on suspicion of murder after the body was
found. She was bailed on Sunday pending inquiries.
When asked about Natalie’s relationship with Christine since her
arrest, Angie said: “I don’t think I can comment on
that to be quiet honest. It is going to be so raw
Tia’s real dad Steve Carter spoke of his last meeting with her
yesterday as he made his second visit to a makeshift
shrine of floral tributes and toys near the New
He said: “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 forever.
“I’ve not spoken to Natalie since we found out. I spoke to her
before that. I told her to go home and wait for Tia.
“I’ve not spoken to her since. She’s heartbroken. That’s her baby
A post mortem on Tia’s body was suspended on Saturday night and
will start again this week.
Christine’s neighbour Paul Meehan, 39, is also on bail after being
questioned on suspicion of giving a false statement
claiming he had seen Tia leave the house on Friday.