Tia Sharp murder hunt: Grandmother’s boyfriend Stuart Hazell charged with murder
THE partner of Tia Sharp’s grandmother is due to appear in court today charged with her murder.
• Stuart Hazell has been charged with the murder of schoolgirl Tia Sharp
• Hazell is the partner of Sharp’s grandmother, Christine
• Christine Sharp and her next-door neighbour have been released on bail
• Schoolgirl’s body was found in grandmother’s house
Stuart Hazell, 37, was arrested on Friday, more than a week after the 12-year-old went missing in New Addington, south London.
The youngster’s grandmother, Christine Sharp, has been released on bail following her arrest on suspicion of murder, Scotland Yard said.
Officers have also freed Ms Sharp’s next-door neighbour on bail pending further inquiries.
Paul Meehan, 39, was detained by detectives on suspicion of
assisting an offender.
Detectives arrested the three suspects on Friday after the discovery a body inside the house Hazell shares with Ms Sharp, 46, in The Lindens, New Addington, near Croydon.
Hazell was charged during the early hours yesterday after being interviewed by detectives.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “Although officers await formal identification of a body found at The Lindens on Friday, 10 August, the victim is named in the murder charge as 12-year-old Tia Sharp.
“Two other people have been bailed to return to a south
London police station.
“They are a 46-year-old woman who was arrested on suspicion of murder and a 39-year-old man who was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.”
A post-mortem examination on the body, which is yet to be formally identified, was expected to recommence yesterday. It is still not known how the youngster died.
Police have not revealed where the remains were discovered, but officers were seen taking a ladder into the property on Friday, leading to suggestions it might have been in the loft.
After Tia was reported missing on 3 August, a huge search was launched involving up to 100 police officers, some diverted from Olympic duties, along with local volunteers.
The body was not discovered until the fourth time Ms Sharp’s terraced property was searched.
Commander Neil Basu, of the Metropolitan Police, admitted mistakes had been made “due to human error”, and apologised to Tia’s mother, Natalie.
He said: “On behalf of the Metropolitan Police I apologise for the distress and concern this delay will have caused.”
A manhunt for Hazell, who had previously been interviewed by police as a potential witness, was launched following the discovery.
He was arrested hours later in the south London borough of Merton, after apparently being recognised by a schoolgirl who had seen him buying alcohol in an off-licence.
Flowers, teddy bears and candles remained near the house where the body was found, after neighbours and friends left tributes to Tia.
One message read: “Rest in peace Tia. Justice will be served.”
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