THE dad of 12-year-old Tia Sharp says he still blames himself over her murder by pervert Stuart Hazell.
Steven Carter said he is convinced that had his relationship with Tia’s mother not broken down his daughter would still be alive.
He said: “I massively blame myself. I should have done more as a father.”
Tia’s decomposing body was found in grandma Christine’s attic in August 2012, nine days after she was reported missing.
Christine’s paedophile lover Hazell was jailed for a minimum of 38 years after admitting her murder.
Shopfitter Steven, 35, split with Tia’s mother Natalie just before his daughter was born.
But he told a Channel 5 documentary how Tia had stayed with him during the school holidays for eight years until he and Natalie fell out.
He said: “I had Tia every holiday until things turned sour between me and her mum.
"If that hadn’t happened there’s every possibility Tia would have been staying with me that August instead of being at her nan’s where she was killed by someone she trusted and called ‘grandad’.”
Police searched Christine’s loft in New Addington, Surrey, three times without spotting Tia’s body before finally uncovering it the fourth time.
Hazell, 41, who was obsessed with child abuse images, is in Wakefield Prison, West Yorkshire. He will not be eligible for parole until he is 75.
Steven said of Hazell’s sentence: “He should have hanged.”
THE Murder of Tia Sharp: My Daughter, is on Channel 5 at 9pm on Monday.