Stuart Hazell pleads not guilty to Tia Sharp murder
The man accused of murdering schoolgirl Tia Sharp will stand trial for her murder in May.
Stuart Hazell appeared via video link from Belmarsh Prison at the Old Bailey this morning and entered a plea of not guilty.
It is the first time that he has been asked to enter a plea and the upcoming trial is expected to last for two weeks.
The 37-year-old is charged with murdering the Raynes Park High schoolgirl between August 2 and August 11 last year.
Alluding to the upcoming trial, Lord Carlisle QC defending, said: “Mr Hazell will assert that there was a dreadful accident.
“Tia died as a result of that accident.
“The body was placed in the loft where it remained undisturbed, albeit by a number of police searches, when it was eventually found.”
The 12-year-old's body was found by police in a bag in the loft of the home he had shared with her grandmother in The Lindens, New Addington, on Friday, August 10.
The discovery followed an eight-day search for the schoolgirl by police, family, friends and volunteers.
He was remanded in custody and is set to appear for trial on May 7.