Stuart Hazell appears at Old Bailey charged with Tia Sharp's murder
The man charged with the murder of 12-year-old Tia Sharp appeared at the Old Bailey this morning.
Stuart Hazell, 37, appeared downcast and weary via video link from Belmarsh prison for the hearing, which lasted 15 minutes.
Wearing an orange t-shirt, Mr Hazell spoke only to confirm his name and that he had understood the morning's proceedings.
The body of Tia Sharp 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.
During the hearing, defence lawyers also raised concerns about the press which he said could jeopardise Mr Hazell's chances of a fair trial.
Defending, Lord Alexander Carlile said: "There's been some speculation in the media about the cause of death but there is no evidence what so ever about the cause of death.
"It is merely speculation."
Mr Justice Saunders, presiding, endorsed this view.
He said: "This is said with utmost respect for the press who are aware of their responsibilities and the need not to prejudice a fair trial."
Mr Hazell was remanded in custody at Belmarsh prison and will appear at the Old Bailey on November 19 to enter a plea.
There was no application for bail.
A provisional date for his trial was set for January 21.