Tia Sharp 'idolised' murder accused Stuart Hazell

Tia Sharp was "very close" to murder accused Stuart Hazell, the court heard

Schoolgirl Tia Sharp "idolised" the man accused of murdering her, her grandmother has told the Old Bailey.

Jurors were read a statement by Christine Bicknell, whose former partner Stuart Hazell is accused of murdering the 12-year-old.

She said: "I always thought she was coming home. It didn't cross my mind that he would hurt her. He loved Tia, she idolised him."

Mr Hazell, 37, of New Addington, south London, denies Tia's murder.

Tia was found dead in the loft of Ms Bicknell's south London house in August a week after she went missing.

CCTV clips

It is believed the schoolgirl was killed between 2 August and 10 August, when her body was found.

Jurors were shown CCTV clips of Mr Hazell and Tia together after meeting at a train station on the afternoon of 2 August.

Christine Sharp Christine Bicknell said her grandchildren were fond of Mr Hazell

The court heard that Tia had sent a text to Mr Hazell asking if she could stay the night at the house he shared with her grandmother.

Ms Bicknell said: "The majority of the time he has her more than what I do. She is his cling-on."

The prosecution alleges that Mr Hazell killed Tia following a sexual assault.

The jury was previously shown an image of a child, alleged to be Tia although the girl's face cannot be seen, on a bed at her grandmother's house.

Blood could be seen on the bed linen in the picture, said to have been taken in the early hours of 3 August, when prosecutors say Tia died.

Video clips and images of Tia sleeping in her bedroom were also found.

Phone images

Ms Bicknell said she had not had any concerns about Mr Hazell being around Tia during their five-and-a-half year relationship.

She said Mr Hazell was not somebody she had "dragged in from the street" and "Tia was not the sort of girl you could groom".

She added: "I knew nothing about her death. If I knew, he could be dead - I would be inside because I would have killed him. I didn't know anything."

The jury has heard that Mr Hazell looked at indecent websites, searching for material on under-age girls.

But Ms Bicknell's statement said they had no access to the internet at the house and "he wouldn't have a clue how to do it, so he says".

She said: "I have been asked by the police if Stuart watched or downloaded pornography to his phone. I have never seen him do anything like that."

She said she had seen some images on his phone, but he claimed they had accidentally downloaded.

'Odour' described

Ms Bicknell described a "smell" coming from somewhere in the house the week after Tia disappeared.

Tia Sharp Tia Sharp was reported missing on 3 August

"I had a quick check around and I couldn't find anything," she said.

The jury heard details of the unsuccessful police searches of the house where Tia's body was eventually found.

These included two searches of the loft, one on 4 August and a second on 5 August by an officer with specialist training.

Of the first sweep, a police constable said: "From what I could see the loft seemed very clear. I thought 'she is not hiding in here'," he said.

When the specialist team came in the following day, one officer said he would have recognised the smell of a decomposing body if it had been apparent.

The body was found after a detective noticed a smell of decomposition in the upstairs of the house and Tia's body was found in the "excessively hot" loft on 10 August.

Officers also found a Sainsbury's bag with a yellow top and grey trousers in it, the court was told.

Earlier the jury was told that Mr Hazell had told police Tia was wearing a yellow top and grey leggings when she went missing.

The trial will resume on Thursday.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC London

Weather

London

22 °C 15 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    Met chief backs passport plan 11:49:

    The UK's most senior police officer has said he backs a call to seize passports from Britons who go abroad to fight with militants in Syria and Iraq.

    Met Police chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe also said "something like" control orders to restrict the movement of terror suspects should be brought back.

     
  2.  
    Dagenham school stalwart dies 11:39:

    A former policeman who organised the annual reunion for a Dagenham school has died aged 65, according to the Barking and Dagenham Post.

    Bob Miller attended Alibon Primary before progressing, along with his entire class, to Dagenham County High, now Sydney Russell School.

     
  3.  
    Foxtons jump in profits 11:24:

    London-based estate agent Foxtons has reported a big rise in half-year profits, but warned it expects business to slow down in the second half of the year.

     
  4.  
    Stop and search rules 11:14:

    We reported yesterday police forces in England and Wales have signed up to a new code of conduct for how they use their controversial stop and search powers.

    Derek and Fab speak to Chief Superintendent Victor Olisa

    Radio 1 Newsbeat met 26-year-old Derek and his friend 23-year-old Fab in Tottenham. Between them they say they've been stopped and searched more than 50 times.

     
  5.  
    Croydon stabbing 11:05:

    A 24-year-old man has died after he was stabbed during a fight amongst a group of males in Croydon.

    Police said Adrian Young died two hours after the attack yesterday afternoon.

     
  6.  
    News on the hour 10:56: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    On BBC London 94.9: The leader of Barnet Council tells other boroughs to plan ahead better after it emerged many are borrowing money or diverting cash away from repairs to meet the demand for primary school places. Listen live to find out more.

     
  7.  
    Cyclist 'threat' 10:44: Facebook

    About 25% of guide dogs working in London have been hit by a bike, according to the organisation Guide Dogs.

    Louise Amy Ellis commented on Facebook: "Ok a dog really isn't that hard to see if your on a bike and they are wearing their harness! Come on take more care!"

    Do you agree?

     
  8.  
    Guide dog awareness 10:34:

    BBC London 94.9 reporter Jason Rosam tweets: 1 in 4 guide dogs in London have been hit by a cyclist. @GuidedogsLondon are raising awareness today in Lambeth. pic.twitter.com/RvCx68ylEj

    Guide dogs
     
  9.  
    Guide dogs 'threatened' 10:25: Facebook

    A quarter of blind and partially sighted people and their guide dogs have been hit by bikes in the capital.

    On Facebook, Glen Freeman said: "This is shocking, but I am not surprised. Over the last few years cyclists have become a menace on our roads."

    Do you agree? Comment on Facebook.

     
  10.  
    Kate Bush's glowing return 10:09:

    The long-awaited return of Kate Bush has been greeted with glowing reviews from both fans and newspapers.

    Kate Bush on stage

    Last night the songstress took to the stage at Hammersmith Apollo - her first concert for 35 years. Did you go? Let us know what you thought of the show?

     
  11.  
    News on the hour 09:55:

    On BBC London 94.9: a study by University College London suggests boys and young men are more likely to be victims of sexual abuse than previously thought. Listen live to find out more.

     
  12.  
    Feedback 09:44:

    We've introduced BBC Local Live to bring you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place. Tell us what you think.

     
  13.  
    Jimmy Mizen cafe 09:28:

    The Jimmy Mizen Foundation is opening it's third café run by young people to help them play a positive role in the community.

    Jimmy was attacked a day after his 16th birthday in Lee, south-east London, in 2008.

     
  14.  
    Fulham win 09:18:

    Fulham's £11m striker Ross McCormack eased the pressure on manager Felix Magath with his first goal for the club in a Capital One Cup win at Brentford.

    Magath spoke to BBC London 94.9 after his club's win.

     
  15.  
    Guide dog walking dangers 09:07:

    A quarter of guide dogs working in London have been hit by a bike, according to the organisation Guide Dogs.

    Man walking with a guide dog

    A survey involving a fifth of guide dog owners in the city also found 70% had experienced a near miss with cyclists on pavements or jumping red lights.

     
  16.  
    News on the hour 08:58: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    On BBC London 94.9: a 23-year-old man's being treated in hospital after he was shot in the leg and stabbed in Pimlico. To find out more, listen live.

     
  17.  
    League Cup 08:47: BBC Sport

    Crystal Palace and Fulham got their first wins of the season last night, as they qualified for the third round of the League Cup.

    Palace beat Walsall 0-3 while Fulham scored a 0-1 win at Brentford.

    Elsewhere, Millwall and Charlton both lost, while West Ham leave the competition after they lost a penalty shoot-out against Sheffield United.

     
  18.  
    On air 08:38: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    Penny Smith is standing in for Vanessa Feltz this morning.

    She'll be asking should E-cigarettes be banned indoors? It comes as the World Health Organisation has raised questions about how safe they are.

    E-cigarette

    Get in touch with your views: call the studio on 020 7224 2000.

     
  19.  
    Travel 08:27: Paul Murphy-Kasp Journalist, BBC London

    South West Trains has delays and cancellations on trains through Wimbledon while emergency works take place and Greater Anglia is experiencing delays of 15 mins in and out of Liverpool Street because of a late running freight train.

    Get up to date travel information on BBC London Travel News or on Twitter @BBCTravelAlert.

     
  20.  
    Fuel spill 08:17:

    The A406 North Circular is partially blocked eastbound between Finchley High Road and Colney Hatch Lane after a fuel spill. Queues on the approach. BBC Travel has the latest.

     
  21.  
    Top headlines
     
  22.  
    Cloudy with sunny spells 08:09:

    A fine and dry day with sunny spells and occasional cloud in the east.

    Cloud is likely to be more abundant in the west with patchy rain possible later in the day. Highs of 22C (72F).

     
  23.  
    08:00: Andy Dangerfield BBC News Online

    Good morning, I'll be bringing you all the latest news, sport, travel and weather from London today for BBC Local Live.

    You can also send your news, pictures and comments to locallive@bbc.co.uk.

     

Features

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Child museumChild's play

    Should children be allowed to run wild in museums? BBC Culture investigates

Programmes

  • A woman riding a bicycleClick Watch

    Cycling tech - from charging your phone with pedal power to backpacks that double as indicators

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.