Prosecution to open case against 25-year-old accused of murdering Lucy McHugh

The prosecution is set to open its case at the trial of a 25-year-old man accused of the murder of 13-year-old Lucy McHugh.

Carer Stephen Nicholson, of no fixed address, is charged with the murder of the schoolgirl in July last year, which he denies.

He has also pleaded not guilty to three charges of rape against Lucy when she was 12 years old, and two charges of sexual activity with a child when she was aged 13.

Lucy McHugh death
Lucy McHugh death

A panel of jurors has been selected from which 12 will be sworn in before prosecutor William Mousley QC opens the case against Nicholson.

Lucy left her home in Mansel Road East, Southampton, Hampshire, at about 9am on 25 July, police have said.

Her body was found the next morning in woodland nearly two miles away.

A post-mortem examination revealed she died from stab wounds.

Lucy’s mother, Stacey White, has described her daughter as an “angel” and as “a smiling, content little dolly, who everyone adored and cherished”.