Tia Sharp death: Merton Council in serious case review

Tia Sharp Tia was reported missing on 3 August

A south London council will conduct a serious case review following the death of Tia Sharp, who lived in the borough.

Tia was reported missing on 3 August, having last been seen at the home of her grandmother Christine Sharp, 46, in New Addington, Croydon.

On Friday a body was found at the home. Stuart Hazell, 37, of New Addington, has been charged with Tia's murder.

Merton Council will conduct the review, done after the death of a child where abuse or neglect is known or suspected.

Although police are still waiting for formal identification of the body found on Friday, the victim is named in the murder charge as Tia and officers said they believe the body is that of the 12-year-old.

A post-mortem examination, which was paused on Saturday night, is expected to resume on Thursday afternoon, police said. The cause of death has yet to be identified.

Mr Hazell was remanded in custody after appearing at Camberwell Green Magistrates' Court via video-link from Sutton police station on Monday.

Stuart Hazell Stuart Hazell has been charged with murdering Tia

No plea was entered to the charge, which accuses Mr Hazell of murdering the girl.

Mr Hazell is due to appear at the Old Bailey on Wednesday, with a further date for a preliminary hearing recorded as 19 November.

Christine Sharp, who was arrested on suspicion of murder, and a 39-year-old man, arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender, have both been bailed to return to a south London police station in October.

Serious case reviews, undertaken by Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs), examine the role of local agencies - including social services - in the welfare of the child who has died and their family.

Ged Curran, Chief Executive of Merton Council, said: "Our thoughts and condolences go out to all those who knew Tia.

"The Local Safeguarding Children Board will now commission a serious case review, the standard procedure in a tragic case such as this.

"The review will be assisted by the police, health services and local authorities."

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