A weekly newspaper scooped the national press in being first to report on the arrest of a man who has now been charged with the murder of a 12-year-old girl.
Croydon Advertiser reporter Rachel Millard got the exclusive about how 37-year-old Stuart Hazell was arrested after the body of missing Tia Sharp was found in the house in New Addington he shares with the girl’s grandmother.
Hazell has now been charged with murder and is due to appear at Camberwell Green Magistrates’ Court today.
Tia disappeared a week before being found dead, sparking a major manhunt, and the Advertiser turned its front page on Friday into a missing person poster in a bid to find her.
Editor Glenn Ebrey has praised the work of his team in reporting on the story, with its website regularly updated with the latest developments, which has included an exclusive interview with Tia’s father.
He said: “This is one of the biggest news stories of the year and I’m delighted with how our team have responded. They have shown great journalistic instincts but also approached everything with great sensitivity and understanding of the emotions involved.”
The Advertiser’s poster, designed by production editor Alex Leys, was published on its main edition and New Addington edition, with the usual front page promotion panels being dropped and the masthead being changed to a white on black format.
Its poster gave details of when Tia went missing, what she was wearing and gave contact details for the police.