UK & World News
Tia Sharp: Neighbour Denies Time-Wasting
A neighbour of the grandmother of murdered schoolgirl Tia Sharp has denied wasting police time.
Paul Meehan, 40, is accused of causing wasteful employment of the police by making a false report saying he had information linked to an inquiry in August last year.
Meehan, from Croydon, south London, entered a not guilty plea at Croydon Magistrates' Court.
During the short hearing, he spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and address and to deny the offence.
He was released on bail and will next appear at the same court on May 3 for a one-day trial.
Meehan is the neighbour of Tia's grandmother, Christine Sharp, whose boyfriend, Stuart Hazell, is due to stand trial for the 12-year-old's murder in May.
Tia's body was found in the loft of her grandmother's house in New Addington, south London, in August last year, more than a week after she went missing.
Hazell, 37, from New Addington, is charged with murdering the schoolgirl between August 2 and 11.
Christine Sharp was arrested on suspicion of murder but in December she was told she would face no further action in relation to the case.
The disappearance of the schoolgirl sparked a huge search around the Croydon area with family members leading the campaign.
Police officers had previously visited Christine Sharp's home, but it was only days into the search that Tia's body was discovered hidden in the loft.