Hampshire police seek bail extension for schoolgirl murder suspect

Police investigating the death of schoolgirl Lucy McHugh have applied for a three-month extension to the bail granted to a suspect arrested on suspicion of her murder.

The body of the 13-year-old was found in woodland at Southampton Sports Centre on July 26. She had been stabbed to death.

Lucy McHugh. Picture: Hampshire Constabulary

Lucy McHugh. Picture: Hampshire Constabulary

Care worker Stephen Nicholson was arrested on suspicion of murder in the days after her death.

He was jailed for 14 months in August over his refusal to hand over the password to his Facebook account.

But he formally remains on bail following his arrest on suspicion of murder and sexual activity with a child.

Detectives at Hampshire police have applied to the courts to extend this bail which had been due to finish on Saturday October 27.

A force spokesman said: 'Officers investigating the death of Southampton schoolgirl Lucy McHugh have applied for a bail extension for the man arrested on suspicion of her murder.

'It comes as we continue our painstaking enquiries into the murder of the 13-year-old, which recently saw further searches carried out at the Sports Centre where her body was found.

'A 24-year-old man from Southampton was arrested in July on suspicion of murder and sexual activity with a child.

'He is due to answer bail on 27 October and we have applied to the courts for an extension for a further three months.

'This is standard procedure in such cases and would not preclude a charge before the end of the period.

'The same man is currently serving a 14-month prison sentence for not co-operating with the investigation team.'

Earlier this week, Lucy's mother Stacey White issued a statement to mark her daughter's 14th birthday which would have been on Wednesday.

She said: 'We will never forget all the memories and smiles you brought to our lives. We will sit and chat to you every day just like you were here. You will never be forgotten.'