Tia Sharp: Close to Home

On Friday 3rd August, a 12 year old girl named Tia Sharp mysteriously disappeared from the New Addington area. Today, 9 days later, Stuart Hazell, the boyfriend of Tia’s Grandmother, Christine Sharp,  is charged with her murder. I had a suspicion that at least one family member would be involved.

Stuart Hazell & Tia Sharp
Stuart Hazell and Tia Sharp

That may sound a little odd to you, but none of the family really seemed that distraught, and the whole situation just smacked of the Shannon Matthews incident, which happened in February 2008.

Shannon Matthews was reported as missing on Tuesday 19th February 2008 and found on Friday 14th March at the house of the uncle of Shannon’s mother’s boyfriend. Shannon’s mother and the the uncle of her boyfriend were charged for kidnapping, false imprisonment, child neglect and perverting the course of justice between them and each received 8 years imprisonment. Ironically, it was revealed that the boyfriend of Shannon’s mother had indecent images of children on his computer and he was convicted for this. It turns out that the disappearance was faked so that any reward money offered could be claimed by the family.

Whilst the Tia Sharp murder is slightly different, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it turns out that other family members are later charged with her murder or perverting the course of justice too.

Tia’s body was reportedly found in the loft of her grandmother’s house on Friday 10th August. A 46 year-old woman, believed to be Christine Sharp, has also been arrested.

I really can’t understand how it’s possible for Stuart Hazell to murder Tia and then hide her body in the loft without her grandmother noticing. Even if she really didn’t notice, she must have known that Stuart Hazell was acting peculiar? I’ve never murdered anyone before, but I’m fairly certain that it wouldn’t be long before someone noticed that I was acting very strange indeed.

As I said, I don’t think that any of the Sharp family really seemed that distraught- it’s almost as if they’ve got lots of kids so the loss of one isn’t too terrible. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something just doesn’t seem right. Stuart Hazell definitely looks suspicious and I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if he ended up having some sort of criminal history. Hopefully, when he’s in prison, very bad things will happen to him when he fancies a shower.

Shannon Matthews
Shannon’s kidnap was faked by her family in February 2008

I don’t believe anyone knows the cause of Tia’s death yet, but the fact that the police took 7 days to find her body is pretty appalling- it’s highly unlikely that Stuart Hazell moved her body into the loft during all of the police activity. Surely, sniffer dogs should have been brought in as soon as Tia was reported missing and surely they would have found her body almost immediately. What if she had still been alive? Even on the most innocent level, kids like to play games and hide- why didn’t the family/police look in the loft, in the shed and under the stairs to start off with?

I genuinely hope that the autopsy doesn’t reveal that Tia died after she was reported missing- it would be a travesty if she could have been saved and only died because of police incompetence. There should definitely be an enquiry into the way the police have handled this.

If people can kidnap or murder members of their own family, we live in a much sadder world than I ever imagined. I suspect we’ll never know what made Stuart Hazell murder Tia or why the police didn’t find her body sooner. All we can hope for is that anyone found guilty of being involved in the murder of Tia Sharp spends the rest of their days in a prison cell.

3 Replies to “Tia Sharp: Close to Home”

  1. They didn’t have lots of kids. They had three.
    Tia’s mother seems distraught to me and on the verge of collapse.
    You’re right about Hazel. He does have a record.
    It’s sad but people hurt members of their family all the time. There’s been one case after another of parents killing their children. It’s very rarely down to strangers. The last time a stranger was responsible for killing a child was twelve years ago, Sarah Payne in 2000.
    Police did search the loft but missed finding her body. Maybe she was moved. The sniffer dog did alert to a body. The problem was the dog didnt go into the loft. It’s a bit difficult to carry a german shepherd under you arm when climbing a ladder.

    1. Thank you for your comment.

      Please note that my reference to the amount of children that Tia’s mum has was only an example to demonstrate the way that their family came across in my opinion. Tia’s mum did seem distraught but I personally felt that something wasn’t quite right.

      I know that a criminal record doesn’t automatically make someone a bad person, but Stuart Hazell gave me the creeps. Again, there was something about him that just didn’t sit right.

      I’d be very surprised if Tia’s body was moved, but that’s not to say that it wasn’t. Even if it was, I suspect that her body must have been in the house the whole time. I don’t know if sniffer dogs were brought into the house to start off with, but I feel that they should have been. Sniffer dogs are regularly lifted up or down into tight spaces as it would be silly not to use them to explore certain areas, just because it was awkward to get to. Criminals would hide their drugs and stolen swag in the loft all the time, if that were the case.

      It’s a sad, sad story and I have no doubt that Tia’s mum will struggle to recover from this but I suspect that there’s more to this story and that we’ll be hearing about it some more in the near future.

  2. Thank you for your reply.

    There are thousands families from all classes with set-ups like Tia’s which include step-parents, step-grandparents & step-siblings but it didn’t seem quite right to me either mainly because Hazel had previously been in a relationship with Tia’s mother which was an odd situation in my opinion. Plus his ever changing story regarding the circumstances of her disappearance was strange.

    I too would be surprised if Tia was moved but I was trying to think of every angle.The next door neighbour was arrested and bailed on suspicion of assisting an offender so Hazel could have had help I suppose. There must be an explanation as to why the police couldn’t find her in what must be a small loft. From what I’ve read, the first time a dog alerted to the possibility of a body was last Wednesday, though other dogs had been in the house prior to that. There are different types of sniffer dogs I believe, so perhaps the first search dogs were not body detecting dogs.

    Smaller dogs can be lifted but surely a dog the size of a german shepherd would need to be hoisted and as far as I know they only had ladders at Tia’s house. As well as that, the search team may have decided not to lift the dog up into the loft if it was jam-packed and unboarded as it could’ve been hazardous. Perhaps they thought it unnecessary too, as I’m sure it never occurred to them that they could miss a body in such a small space.

    It is very sad for Tia’s mother though, especially as her own mother may be implicated in some way. What a terrible situation for her to have to cope with.

    best wishes

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