In an in-depth interview with ITV's Tonight, Tia Sharp's mother and grandmother tell their harrowing story and speak openly about their loss
The mother of murdered schoolgirl Tia Sharp has said the man responsible for her death "deserves to suffer".
Stuart Hazell, 37, changed his plea to guilty in the murder trial of schoolgirl Tia Sharp claiming her 'family have suffered enough'.
There were sobs and a shout of 'beast' from the public gallery as Hazell was sentenced. Tia's grandmother Christine Bicknell could be seen crying and hugging a relative.
– Mr Justice Nicol
All that lay ahead of her [Tia] - a career, loves and family of her own - will now never be. And the loss of her has been devastating for her mother, her father and all her relatives and friends.
The tragedy of their loss and her death is because of your act in murdering Tia Sharp. You are responsible.
It was very likely that Stuart Hazell smothered Tia Sharp, the 12-year-old schoolgirl that he admits killing, said Mr Justice Nichol as he was sentencing him.
He said that she was "a sparky girl, full of life" who idolised Hazell and he had taken her life.
The Judge said that it was a terrible crime against a very young girl but he did not accept that sexual motivation had been proved beyond doubt. There was no doubt that he had sexual conduct of some kind with Tia and it could have been "shame and fear" that made him kill her.
He was given life with 38 years minimum.
A Judge at the Old Bailey has told Stuart Hazell he will have to spend at least 38 years in jail as he was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Tia Sharp.
Arriving at court this morning Tia Sharp's family said they wanted to see justice being served when the Judge passes sentence.
The stepfather of murdered Tia Sharp, David Niles, has told Daybreak that he hopes his stepdaughter's killer "rots in jail."
The 12-year-old schoolgirl was murdered last year by her grandmother's boyfriend Stuart Hazell.
Speaking about Hazell, Mr Niles said: "I've known him for seven years and he just seemed alright to me, just alright."
When asked what sentence he would like Hazell to receive, Mr Niles added: "Life and just to never come out, no parole, at all, hope he rots in jail. I hope he's watching now, hope he rots in jail."
The grandmother of murdered schoolgirl Tia Sharp said she was "cuddled and comforted" by the 12-year-old's killer, unaware he had hidden the child's body in the loft above them.
Christine Bicknell, who had been in a relationship with Stuart Hazell for five and a half years when Tia died, said there was no evidence that she was "living with a monster", and said she felt she had failed her granddaughter. Ms Bicknell told the Daily Mirror:
– Christine Bicknell
I spent five nights in that house being cuddled and comforted by the man I loved, praying for Tia to come home safely.
Her mum, Natalie, even came round and stayed with us because we were holding each other together.
But all the time Tia's body was above our heads, all alone wrapped in bin bags...and Stuart had killed her.
Stuart Hazell will be sentenced today for the murder of 12-year-old Tia Sharp after suddenly changing his plea mid-trial.
The 37-year-old dramatically admitted to murdering the schoolgirl on the fifth day of his trial.
Previous denials meant that Tia's family were forced to sit through days of disturbing and graphic evidence, her mother Natalie Sharp leaving the court room in tears numerous times.
Hazell abruptly changed his mind and entered a guilty plea to the murder charge as the prosecution was drawing to a close.
His decision means Tia's family will never get to hear his explanation of what happened to the schoolgirl.
Stuart Hazell, who is pleaded guilty to Tia Sharp's murder today, claimed in the days following her disappearance that he would never think of harming the girl who was "like my own daughter".
In an exclusive interview with criminologist Mark Williams-Thomas for ITV News, he described Tia as a "happy-go-lucky golden angel" and made an emotional appeal for her to come home.