Tia Sharp was a beautiful young girl, murdered by the man she called "granddad"

“She was the colour of all colours.”
Natalie Sharp, on her daughter, Tia

“He’s the evil of the evilest”
Natalie on her daughter’s murderer

Tia Sharp is born on 30 June 2000 in Croydon, South London to her teenage mum, Natalie:

“She was tiny. Holding her was like a Christmas present, do you know, when you get what you actually asked (Father Christmas) for.”
Natalie Sharp

Present at her birth is Natalie’s mother, Christine Bicknell.
“I saw Tia born...that was untold love.”
Tia is Christine’s first grandchild.

Christine, Natalie and Tia will become more like friends than family to each other.

In 2002, Christine meets Stuart Hazell:
“...his mother was a prostitute, his dad was in prison...therefore he went into care at a young age...”
Dr. Keri Nixon, Forensic Psychologist

That year, Hazell is also convicted for a racially aggravated common assault.
And it is the year he first sees Tia.
She is two.
She will come to call Hazell ‘Granddad.’

GRANDAD
Stuart has a low IQ and used to truant from school: Something often seen with violent offenders:

“He claims that he was raped at the age of 16.  And when somebody has suffered trauma in childhood: psychological trauma, physical trauma, that can lead to them using violence as the first response to any challenge that they have.”
Dr Keri Nixon

Hazell’s early exposure to sex, through the work of his mother, means there’s a risk of him becoming a serious sexual offender. His psychiatric history is one of depression, alcoholism, self-harm and suicide attempts. But his criminal history doesn’t indicate a possible sexual predator.
In 2003 he is sent to prison for 34 months for supplying cocaine.

Tia’s grandmother, Christine, met Hazel, ten years her junior, when she was a barmaid in a pub in Raynes Park, South West London.
In 2007, they become a couple. Hazell then moves into her home in New Addington, South London. It is an area blighted by drugs and welfare dependency.

Hazell has issues with drugs and alcohol but doesn’t display aggressive tendencies, at least not to Christine and her family.
In reality, his drug and drink use is heavy, dangerously so.
In 2010 he’s convicted of carrying a machete.  Christine stands by him and claims she never saw his violent side in the home.
The truth is that Hazell has 30 previous convictions and has been to prison three times:

“We see drug offences, cocaine offences, dealing cocaine.  We see criminal damage, we see burglary, we see theft and we also see violence.  There was racially motivated violence and GBH in his background...We also see chronic substance abuse...combined with alcohol abuse...it separates offenders who can stop themselves...in certain things, and those who will act very impulsively.”
Dr. Keri Nixon, Forensic Psychologist

And Hazell now sets his sick sights on his step-granddaughter.

“A FIRECRACKER”

Tia is growing up to be a small, only 4ft 5in, but very happy and confident girl;
“...she was somebody who had very strong opinions, she would air her feelings and she wasn’t afraid of letting people know that she was in the room...a firecracker.”
Emma Kenny, Psychologist

Tia goes to Secondary School:
“She weren’t shy; she went out, she made friends.”
Natalie Sharp

Tia combines a winning personality with a successful school record in the classroom. But that’s only when she attends school. Her non-attendance causes concern.

‘DYSFUNCTIONAL’

In 2008, Social Services raises concerns over Natalie and her partner’s cannabis use. (Tia by now has two younger brothers). A report describes the family as ‘dysfunctional’. And it was later judged that there was ‘Inappropriate tolerance’ of cannabis use in her environment. Police records show Tia was present during one of three searches of her house in which drugs were found.
There is, however, no evidence of neglect or abuse towards Tia.

Stuart Hazell is by now an integral part of the family. He’s especially close with Tia.
“He was good with kids, he was good with the house. I don’t know, at some point he was everything that she needed.”
Natalie Sharp
Tia idolises Stuart and looks forward to staying the night round his, even when Christine’s away.
Stuart secretly fantasises about sexually abusing his step-granddaughter.
Tia will soon be twelve.