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Tonight: Living With a Killer

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

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Govt: Internet abuse filters do not damage free speech

Claire Perry
Search engine filters preventing abusive images of children from "returning" would not compromise free speech, Claire Perry said. Credit: DaybreakITV

The search engine block on obscene images of children protects potential victims and does not compromise free speech, David Cameron's child protection adviser has told Daybreak.

Claire Perry was defiant in her support for the block, which will prevent images of child sexual abuse and links to obscene content from being published.

She explained: "I have met the parents of Tia Sharp and April Jones and they were just bewildered that people could put terms into a computer and have images that are illegal in this country returned onto their laptops or their computers, with, in some cases, awful consequences."

Ms Perry admitted there was an "ideological battle" to keep the internet censorship-free, but was adamant a line in the sand had to be drawn when it came to obscene images of children.

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.

Neighbour told police: I definitely saw Tia

A neighbour of Tia Sharp's grandmother claimed he saw the schoolgirl walk towards a bus stop while he was having a cigarette in his front garden.

The court was read a statement given to police by Meehan, in which he said: "From the time I saw Tia I didn't take my eyes off her."

He added: "I think we're all willing and hoping to find Tia safe, more than anything else."

After his arrest, Meehan told officers: "I definitely saw her leave the house. Whether she came back I don't know."

Meehan denies causing wasteful employment of the police by making a false report that he had information linked to an inquiry on August 6.

Tia neighbour 'compounded family's false hope'

Prosecutors said neighbour Paul Meehan gave Tia Sharp's family "false hope" by telling police he had seen the dead schoolgirl.

Jocelyn Ledward, prosecuting, told the court: "He described her outfit and person in detail."

Paul Meehan was a neighbour of Tia's grandmother Christine Sharp (left) Credit: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Miss Ledward said Meehan's claim had the result of "compounding the family's false hope" that she was still alive.

But she told the court: "There is absolutely no suggestion Mr Meehan was in league with Stuart Hazell."

She suggested that he made the report "perhaps in order to increase his importance in the investigation".

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Neighbour 'told police he had seen Tia'

A neighbour of the grandmother of murdered schoolgirl Tia Sharp told police that he had seen her when she was already dead, a court heard today.

Bus driver Paul Meehan, 40, from Croydon, south London, is on trial charged with wasting police time.

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

He was the neighbour of Christine Sharp, whose boyfriend Stuart Hazell was jailed in May for a minimum of 38 years for killing Tia 12.

The court heard that Meehan initially told police he had not seen Tia on Friday 3 August last year, but later claimed he was "100% sure" he watched her walk past his home at around noon on that date.

Neighbour faces police time charge over Tia Sharp

A neighbour of the grandmother of murdered schoolgirl Tia Sharp is due to stand trial today charged with wasting police time.

Paul Meehan, 40, from Croydon, south London, will appear at Croydon Magistrates' Court.

Stuart Hazell was jailed for 38 years for Tia Sharp's murder.

He is the neighbour of Christine Sharp, whose boyfriend, Stuart Hazell, was jailed in May for a minimum of 38 years for killing the 12-year-old.

Meehan is accused of causing wasteful employment of the police by making a false report that he had information linked to an inquiry on August 6 last year.

His trial is expected to last for one day.

'Missed opportunities' to engage with Tia's family

An inquiry following the death of murdered schoolgirl Tia Sharp said there were "missed opportunities" for authorities to engage with the 12-year-old's family.

Stuart Hazell murdered Tia Sharp and was jailed for 38 years. Credit: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire

The report by Merton Safeguarding Children Board said: "Merton Children's Social Care services received a number of referrals about Child A's family.

"These referrals arose from general concerns and there was no direct evidence of abuse or neglect, but the earlier referrals were not followed up thoroughly.

"These were missed opportunities to assess and try to engage with the family."

'No information' Tia was at risk of physical harm

A Merton Safeguarding Children Board inquiry into the death of murdered schoolgirl Tia Sharp said there was no information she was at risk of physical harm.

Although there are lessons to be learned and areas in which services can be improved, there was no information known to any agency which would suggest that Child A's (Tia Sharp's) life would end as it did, or indeed that she was at any risk of physical harm.

– Merton Safeguarding Children Board report

Read: Tia's mother - Stuart Hazell 'deserves to suffer'

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