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.
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'.