Tia Sharp: Hazell 'Took Photo Of Girl's Body'

Tia Sharp: Hazell 'Took Photo Of Girl's Body'

The man accused of killing 12-year-old Tia Sharp took a photograph of her lying naked on her bed shortly after she died, a court has heard.

Prosecutors say Stuart Hazell took the image of the schoolgirl at her grandmother's house in London on August 3 last year.

Hazell, 37, who denies murder, shook his head as the image was shown to jurors at the Old Bailey.

The prosecution referred to a pathologist who examined Tia's body, who said marks on her skin suggested she had been deliberately moved into the position seen in the photograph after she died.

On the opening day of the trial, the prosecution alleged Tia's blood was found on an item belonging to her grandmother, which they claim suggests Hazell had a sexual interest in the youngster.

Jurors heard two memory cards found in the house contained "extensive pornography", including some of under-age girls, as well as several images of Tia and video footage the prosecution claimed was filmed secretly.

At one stage, Tia's mother and several members of the family left the court room visibly distressed.

Andrew Edis QC, prosecuting, told the jury they will have to decide whether Hazell is guilty of murder or whether Tia died in an accident.

The court heard she died on the evening of August 2 or the morning of August 3, although her body was not found until August 10, hidden in the loft at her grandmother's house.

Mr Edis said: "What we know is that after she died he put her in the loft. That's not what you would normally do with someone who has suffered an accident.

"Generally speaking, if someone has an accident and you are concerned about their health you call an ambulance."

The jury of seven men and five women were told the loft was inspected by police twice before Tia's body was found.

"They only found it, I am afraid, because it had started to smell," Mr Edis said. "It was quite well hidden. It has been moved up and then across within the loft space."

He said Tia's body had been "carefully wrapped" in a sheet and bin bags before being sealed with Sellotape.

Meanwhile, the prosecution claimed Hazell's semen was found on Tia's bed and on her night clothes, while her blood was found on the belt he was wearing when he was arrested.

The court was also told how Hazell, of New Addington, London, claimed Tia had fallen down the stairs while they were playing and broken her neck.

It was alleged he was "playing the role of bereaved grandparent who wanted nothing more than the child to be found and to come home" in a television interview played to the jury.

In the broadcast he said Tia was like his own child and said he did not know what had happened to her.

The trial continues.