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Man murdered Lucy McHugh, 13, after she told him she was pregnant, court hears | UK News



Schoolgirl Lucy McHugh was murdered by a man after she told him she was pregnant following their secret year-long relationship, a court has heard.

Stephen Nicholson, 25, is accused of repeatedly stabbing the 13-year-old in the neck and upper body in woodland before leaving her to bleed to death.

Winchester Crown Court was told Nicholson, of no fixed address, had “an interest in under-age sex” and exploited Lucy who was “vulnerable”.

The defendant is charged with murdering Lucy near Southampton Sports Centre on 25 July last year, as well as three counts of rape against her when she was 12.

Stephen Nicholson is alleged to have repeatedly stabbed the schoolgirl
Stephen Nicholson is alleged to have repeatedly stabbed the schoolgirl

Nicholson, who is a carer and tattoo artist, also faces two charges of sexual activity with a child against Lucy on multiple occasions when she was 13.

And he is also charged with sexual activity with a child in relation to another girl aged 14, dated 29 June 2012.

According to prosecutor William Mousley QC, Nicholson told police after his arrest that on the night before her death, Lucy had sent him a Facebook message saying she was pregnant.

Mr Mousley said Nicholson had been a lodger at Lucy’s home where she lived with her mother, her mother’s partner, and her siblings.

The prosecutor said Lucy had kept a diary which detailed her sexual relationship with the defendant dating back to May 2017.

Mr Mousley said the diary described Lucy and the defendant making arrangements for them to meet in each other’s rooms for sexual encounters.

And he said Lucy had told friends she was pregnant but she later said she had been referring to her mother being pregnant.

Mr Mousley said Nicholson claimed that Lucy’s diaries and allegations were the “fantasies of a 12/13-year-old girl”.

Nicholson, who had been staying at his mother’s house last July, visited Lucy’s home on 23 July 2018 to feed his pet reptiles that he kept there and ended up in an argument with her, according to the prosecution.

It is alleged Lucy was heard to shout at the defendant “this is all your fault” and “I have got a hold on you anyway”.

The jury was shown CCTV footage of Lucy walking to the sports centre on 25 July where her body was found the next morning.

Clothing was found at another area of woodland which had DNA links to both Lucy and the defendant, Mr Mousley said.

Nicholson denies the charges and the trial continues.

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