Tia neighbour 'deliberately lied'

A neighbour of the grandmother of Tia Sharp was convicted of wasting police time by giving a false statement that he had seen her alive.

Prosecutor: Meehan 'deliberately lied' about Tia Sharp

Jocelyn Ledward, prosecuting, said Paul Meehan had "deliberately lied" possibly to put himself in an important position in what was then a missing persons inquiry.

She said it was possible that he was attention seeking and was "puffed up" by being important to the inquiry.

I am satisfied so that I am sure, that is to say, beyond reasonable doubt.

The offence is made out.

The verdict therefore can only be one of guilty.

– District Judge Karen Hammond

District Judge Karen Hammond said Meehan was unreliable.

Neighbour gave a 'vivid' description of Tia Sharp

Neighbour of Tia Sharp's grandmother Paul Meehan gave a detailed and "vivid" description of what she was wearing, the court heard, which delayed police from interviewing Stuart Hazell earlier.

But police had spoke to Meehan about the case three times before he finally said he saw her.

Paul Meehan allegedly told police he had seen Tia Sharp on 3 August Credit: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire

His explanation is that he "confabulated" seeing her - his brain mistakenly filled in the blanks in good faith.

Read: Tia neighbour wasted police time

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Neighbour of Tia Sharp's grandmother convicted

As he was convicted of wasting police time, Paul Meehan, a neighbour of Tia Sharp's grandmother, remained impassive as the verdict was delivered.

But as the hearing was adjourned he sat down and buried his head in his hands.

The last confirmed sighting of Tia was on Thursday August 2 at 4.30pm.

On Monday August 6 as the missing 12-year-old's family were frantic with worry, Meehan told police he had seen her walk past him the previous Friday while he was in his garden.