Agencies cleared of any blame over murder of Croydon schoolgirl Tia Sharp


Stuart Hazell was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of his partner’s grandaughter.

By SWLondoner staff

An inquiry into welfare of murdered Croydon schoolgirl Tia Sharp has cleared the agencies involved of any blame in her death.

The report, by Merton Safeguarding Children Board, did find that chances were missed to deal with her poor school attendance and the use of drugs by some members of her family.

It also said that there was confusion and miscommunication between police and the council when the schoolgirl, who was killed by her grandmother’s partner Stuart Hazell, went missing.

Earlier this year, the court heard that Tia was killed by Hazell in the early hours of August 3 2012, following a sexual assault.

The serious case review executive summary, written by Kevin Harrington, said that there was no information known to any agency which would suggest that Tia’s life would end as it did, or that she was at any risk of physical harm.

The report makes clear that although Tia was a “joy to have in class” and had a “bright, happy and warm personality,” her attendance had been poor since junior school, and worsened at Raynes Park High.

It also states that the school had contacted Tia’s mother to try to address the problem, but she “avoided all attempts” to tackle the issue, and was eventually handed a fixed penalty notice. Following this, Tia’s grandmother contacted the school to say Tia would be living with her from now on.

Mr Harrington also reported that Tia lived in a situation where the use of illegal drugs was common.

“This is likely to have affected her and the care she received throughout her life,” it said.

 “It was not robustly challenged by health professionals in their contact with her family and there may have been an inappropriate tolerance by some professionals of the use of cannabis.”

The family was assessed by social services once after coming to police attention, the report says.

It adds: “Overall, Ms D (Tia’s mother) was said to present as “loving and caring” and there was no evidence to indicate a need for continuing contact with social workers.”

Picture courtesy of Ray Forster, with thanks

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