Page last updated at 13:49 GMT, Sunday, 1 November 2009

Tribute to 'bubbly' granddaughter

Mike and Andrea Hall
Mike Hall comforts Ashleigh's mother Andrea at her County Durham home

The grandfather of a girl allegedly killed by a man she met on the internet, said she was a chatterbox who loved talking to people.

Ashleigh Hall, 17, from Darlington, was discovered in a field in Sedgefield, County Durham on Monday.

Peter Chapman, 32, of no fixed address, faces manslaughter and kidnap charges.

Ashleigh's grandfather Mike Hall, 69, said the moment he had to identify the teenager's body was the "most terrible" he had ever endured.

Ashleigh, of Warwick Square, Darlington, was found in a farmer's field close to the Little Chef roundabout, off the A689 and A177 roads, near Sedgefield.

Tighter controls

Post-mortem tests to establish a cause of death have so far been inconclusive.

Almost 24 hours earlier she had told her mother Andrea that she was going to stay with a friend.

Mr Hall said having to identify his granddaughter's body was "a terrible day that I will never forget."

He said: "It was the hardest thing I have had to do in my life. It is something no granddad should have to do."

Ashleigh Hall
Ashleigh was last seen alive on Sunday night

Mr Hall, who has been comforting Ashleigh's mother, recalled the teenager as a "chatterbox" with a huge circle of friends, with whom she was in constant contact.

She used to help his gardening business and spent the extra pocket money she earned on topping up her mobile phone.

He said: "She was so bubbly, lively and lovely.

"She was a bit of a chatterbox, always on the phone or the computer or talking to someone in the street. She just wanted to be involved."

Ashleigh's mother has called for tighter controls to be introduced on social networking web sites.

Peter Chapman is due to appear before Teesside Crown Court on 3 November, charged with manslaughter, kidnap and failing to notify a change of address, as required by the Sex Offences Act.



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