The mother of Tia Sharp has spoken for the first time about the criticism she faced when Tia went missing and revealed the family fell victim to a hoaxer during her daughter’s disappearance.

In her victim impact statement, Natalie Sharp said a hoax caller, who claimed to be holding Tia, had given her false hope she was still alive.

Miss Sharp said she had been very upset by people she did not know passing judgement. She said: “I have been so badly hurt by people I don’t know and who know nothing of me.

“People have said the most terrible things about me as a mother and Tia’s life. “I can’t understand how people who know nothing about somebody can send such awful messages.

“I have been stared at and physically attacked and I know people judge me when they see me buying something nice for my sons.

“I have heard people saying Tia was mistreated and that she’s lucky to be away from this world.

“My Tia wanted for nothing. I have gone without so many times to give my children everything and the truth is that strangers have said things that have been repeated in the press and social media that have been unbelievable.”