The Catch-up: Care worker murdered and raped 13-year-old girl

What happened?

A care worker has been found guilty of murdering a schoolgirl he killed to prevent her revealing his year-long abuse of her. Stephen Nicholson, 25, was convicted of murder of 13-year-old Lucy McHugh as well as three counts of rape when she was 12. Nicholson was also found guilty of sexual activity with a child in relation to another girl in 2012, who was aged 14.

An ‘execution-style’ killing

Lucy was lured by Nicholson to a wood close to the Southampton Sports Centre on July 25 last year, where he stabbed her 27 times in the neck and upper chest. Described by police as a 'predatory paedophile', Nicholson abused the “vulnerable” youngster for more than a year while living as a lodger at her family home. He then killed her when she threatened to reveal their sexual relationship and to tell her mother she was pregnant. A post-mortem examination showed that she was not pregnant at the time of her death. William Mousley QC, prosecuting, described the murder as premeditated, and an 'execution-style' killing.

Facebook controversy

The murder investigation was hampered when Nicholson refused to reveal his Facebook password and the social media giant delayed handing over details of communications between him and Lucy. This prompted calls from senior police and politicians for detectives to be given quicker access to social media accounts when investigating serious crimes.

Read more

Care worker convicted of murdering teenager Lucy McHugh (HuffPost)

Lucy McHugh murder trial hears school raised safeguarding fears (The Guardian)

McHugh was stabbed and slashed 27 times, court hears (Sky News)


McHugh 'told friend she loved man accused of murdering her' (The Guardian)

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70 million

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