Care worker denies murdering schoolgirl Lucy McHugh


wp header logo 74 - Care worker denies murdering schoolgirl Lucy McHugh

Care worker denies murdering schoolgirl Lucy McHugh, 13, who was found stabbed to death in woodland

  • Stephen Nicholson, 24, alleged to have murdered the schoolgirl in Southampton 
  • Nicholson said to have lured her there after taking another underage girl to spot 
  • Once at spot near to Southampton Sports Centre, Nicholson allegedly killed her 
  • Nicholson was remanded in custody and due to face trial on June 18 this year 

Charlie Bayliss For Mailonline

A care worker has denied murdering schoolgirl Lucy McHugh, who was found stabbed to death in a woodland. 

Stephen Nicholson, 24, is alleged to have lured the 13-year-old to a secluded area near Southampton Sports Centre, which prosecutors claim he knew about having taken another underage girl there. 

Once Nicholson lured Lucy to the spot he killed her, it is claimed. The young girl’s body was discovered by a dog walker nearly 24 hours after her concerned mother first reported her missing.

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Stephen Nicholson, 24, (right) is alleged to have lured Lucy McHugh, 13, to a secluded area near Southampton Sports Centre

Former tattoo artist Nicholson denied murdering Lucy, from Southampton, Hants.

He also denied sexual activity with a child under 16, which relates to an incident with a 14-year-old girl six years ago.

Appearing at Winchester Crown Court, Nicolson, wearing a grey Adidas tracksuit, spoke only to deny each of the charges.

He was also charged with raping Lucy when she was 12, and one count of sexual activity with a child under 16 relating to her. He is yet to enter pleas for the two charges.

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Police combed through hundreds of hours of CCTV to work out her final moments before she went missing

Lucy’s disappearance on July 25 last year sparked a desperate search for the girl, with her mother urging people on social media to help take part in the hunt for her daughter. Her body was found in a woodland by a dog walker the following day.

Thousands of hours of CCTV have been trawled through by detectives as they tried to piece together Lucy’s final moments the day she went missing. 

At an earlier hearing, prosecutor Sital Mond said: ‘The defendant was living with his friend, her partner and children.

‘The oldest child is the alleged victim. She goes missing and her body is later found.

‘The second allegation of sexual activity happened in the same place where the body was found.’

Nicholson was remanded in custody today, with him due to face trial at Winchester Crown Court on June 18 this year. 

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A horse-drawn hearse carrying the coffin of 13-year-old Lucy McHugh after her funeral ceremony at Hollybrook cemetery in Shirley, Southampton, in August last year 

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