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Stuart Hazell pleads not guilty to murdering Croydon 12-year-old Tia Sharp

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STUART Hazell has pleaded not guilty to the murder of New Addington schoolgirl Tia Sharp.
Hazell, the partner of Tia's grandmother Christine Sharp, appeared via videolink at The Old Bailey this morning (Friday).
He will now stand trial for the murder of 12-year-old Tia, whose body was found in the loft of her grandmother's house in The Lindens, New Addington, on August 10 last year - a week after her disappearance sparked a huge missing persons hunt.
Hazell's defence counsel, Lord Carlile, told the court his client would be claiming that Tia's death was a "dreadful" accident.
He said; "Mr Hazell will assert there was a dreadful accident and Tia Sharp died as a result of that accident, and he panicked. The body was placed in the loft, where it remained undisturbed and missed by a number of police searches until it was found."
Hazell, who was wearing a black t-shirt, shook his head as he entered his not guilty plea.
The Old Bailey hearing was attended by members of Tia's family, including her mother.
Hazell's trial has been set for May 7.

Stuart Hazell pleads not guilty to murdering Croydon 12-year-old Tia Sharp


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