14/08/2014 12:51 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Tia Sharp's Dad And Partner Expecting A Baby

Murdered schoolgirl Tia Sharp's dad and his partner are expecting a baby

The dad of murdered schoolgirl Tia Sharp is expecting a baby with his partner – which he has described as a blessing from his dead daughter.

The 31-year-old said he was told he was going to become a father again a week before his daughter's killer Stuart Hazell went on trial.

Steven Carter's girlfriend Melissa Potter is around 14 weeks pregnant and is due to give birth in mid-December.

Mr Carter told MailOnline: "We found out we were expecting another baby just before the trial but kept it under wraps because we just wanted to get justice for Tia.

"My family and a few close friends knew before the case got to court - but we wanted to keep it quiet.

"We feel the baby is a blessing from Tia, I know that will sound strange to some people, but it is something for us to look forward to now.

"We will never forget her but I don't think Tia would be happy with us just moping around and this is a chance to move on.

"At the end of this month we have got her birthday and then in August it is the first anniversary, so it is hard."

Mr Carter who moved to Moulton, Northamptonshire, from New Addington, south London, after splitting up with Tia's mother Natalie Sharp when Tia was a baby, already has an nine-year-old son called Thomas with his long-term partner Melissa.

The family have just returned from a short break in Majorca 'to get away from it all' after their harrowing courtroom experience last month.

Mr Carter said that later this year he will face the difficult task of redecorating Tia's bedroom for the new baby, although they don't yet know the sex.

And the father said that his son gave him a father's day card at the weekend signed from 'Thomas and Tia'.

He added: "The card said love from Thomas and Tia. He said he knew Tia couldn't write it herself so he had to write it for her.