A British man is pleading guilty to killing 12-year-old Tia Sharp, changing his plea on the fifth day of his murder trial in a case that has horrified the U.K.

Tia's disappearance last August drew headlines across Britain. The discovery of her body at her grandmother's house was met by disbelief — in part because police had already searched the premises three times.

Stuart Hazell, the partner of Tia's grandmother, was later arrested and charged with murder.

The 37-year-old had repeatedly denied wrongdoing, and gasps were heard in court as he changed his plea to guilty on Monday.

Hazell will be sentenced on Tuesday.