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Accused in Tia Sharp murder sentenced to 38 years in prison

Stuart Hazell unexpectedly changed his plea to guilty yesterday, admitting to killing the 12-year-old before stuffing her body in an attic.

Handout photo issued by the Metropolitan Police of Stuart Hazell and Tia Sharp.
Handout photo issued by the Metropolitan Police of Stuart Hazell and Tia Sharp.
Image: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire

A BRITISH MAN who pleaded guilty to the murder of his 12-year-old stepdaughter, Tia Sharp, has been sentenced to 38 years in prison today.

Stuart Hazel dramatically changed his plea yesterday, on the fifth day of his trial at the Old Bailey in London, admitting he killed the young girl, whose grandmother he had been dating at the time.

Today the 37-year-old was sentenced to a minimum of 38 years for killing Sharp, with the judge commenting that he could not impse a whole life sentence as he was not sure whether the motivation was sexual or pre-meditated, BBC reports.

The 12-year-old’s body was found on 10 August last year in her grandmother’s loft in south-east London following a lengthy police search operation. It had been wrapped up in a sheet and stuffed in a bin bag.

Prosecutors in the court that the girl had probably been sexually assaulted by Hazell before he suffocated her.

Related: Accused changes plea and admits murder of 12-year-old Tia Sharp>
More: Provisional trial date set for Tia Sharp murder case>

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