The neighbour of Tia Sharp's grandmother has appeared in court accused of wasting police time during their search for the schoolgirl.

Paul Meehan spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth, and deny the offence, during a brief hearing at Croydon Magistrates Court this morning.

The 40-year-old's address was not read out in court, but it is understood he is living in South Norwood.

Tia, who lived in Pollards Hill, was reported missing from her grandmother's New Addington home on August 2, 2012.

The Raynes Park High schoolgirl's body was found in her grandmother's loft a week later.

Mr Meehan is accused of knowingly giving police wrong information during the search for Tia.

He will stand trial on May 3.

Stuart Hazell the former partner of Tia's grandmother Christine, has been charged with the Merton schoolgirl's murder.

The 37-year-old will also stand trial in May.