The man accused of killing schoolgirl Tia Sharp has admitted her murder on the fifth day of his trial at the Old Bailey in London.

Stuart Hazell, 37, changed his plea this morning and admitted murdering the 12-year-old in August last year.

His legal representative Lord Carlile said his client wanted to make it known that "Tia's family have suffered enough and he did not want to put them through any further stages of this trial or this process".

Tia's father, Steve Carter, broke down in tears as Hazell changed his plea.

The development came after four days of graphic evidence during which Tia's mother, Natalie Sharp, frequently had to leave the courtroom, visibly distressed.

The prosecution case included a grotesque photograph of a girl alleged to be Tia after she died.

The girl's remains were found hidden at her grandmother Christine Sharp's terraced house more than a week after she was reported missing.

Hazell, Ms Sharp's partner, was arrested after a massive search for the girl, which involved around 100 police officers and members of the community.

He will be sentenced tomorrow.