Jury visits scene where schoolgirl Lucy McHugh’s body was found

The jury in the trial of a man accused of murdering schoolgirl Lucy McHugh has been taken to visit the woodland where she was allegedly stabbed to death.

Carer Stephen Nicholson, of no fixed address, is accused of repeatedly stabbing the 13-year-old to the neck and upper body at Southampton Sports Centre before leaving her to die in July last year.

The 25-year-old, who is also a tattoo artist, is charged with Lucy’s murder as well as three counts of rape against her when she was aged 12.

Stephen Nicholson court case
Lucy McHugh, also known as Lucy White, whose body was found in woodland at Southampton Sports Centre on July 26 2018 (Ben Mitchell/PA)

He also faces two charges of sexual activity with a child against Lucy on multiple occasions when she was aged 13.

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

The 12 jurors along with the judge and barristers from the trial at Winchester Crown Court were taken by coach to see the houses where Nicholson and Lucy lived in Mansel Road East.

They were then driven along the route taken by Lucy as she walked to the outdoor sports centre on the morning of July 25.

Her body was found by a dog walker in an area of woodland near to the dry ski slope the following day.

The jurors were also taken to another nearby area of woodland at Tanner’s Brook where discarded clothing was found in the days after the murder.

Lucy McHugh death
A police officer at the scene near Southampton Sports Centre, where 13-year-old Lucy McHugh was found stabbed to death (Ben Mitchell/PA)

William Mousley QC, prosecuting, told the court that the items included a blue bloodstained Russell Athletic hoody which had DNA which was “highly likely” to be a mix of the defendant’s and Lucy’s.

Before the site visit, the judge Mrs Justice May told the jurors: “We are in effect the court going to the scene. The defendant will not be with us.

“While you are on the coach you must not talk about the case.”

Nicholson denies the charges and the trial continues on Monday.

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