Lucy McHugh murder trial: Accused tells court he pushed and swore at schoolgirl as trial continues

Stephen Nicholson is accused of murdering schoolgirl Lucy McHugh. Picture: Hampshire Constabulary/PA Wire
Stephen Nicholson is accused of murdering schoolgirl Lucy McHugh. Picture: Hampshire Constabulary/PA Wire
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THE man accused of raping and murdering ‘vulnerable’ schoolgirl Lucy McHugh has told a court that he acted inappropriately towards her by swearing and pushing her.

Stephen Nicholson, of no fixed address, is accused of repeatedly stabbing 13-year-old Lucy to the neck and upper body at Southampton Sports Centre before leaving her to die on July 25 last year.

The trial at Winchester Crown Court has heard that the defendant had been a lodger at the home of Lucy, her mother Stacey White and stepfather Richard Elmes.

William Mousley QC, prosecuting, asked Nicholson if he acted appropriately to Lucy, who the defendant has described as "stalkerish" towards him.

The 25-year-old said: ‘I believe telling her to f*** off and pushing her away from me was too much.’

He added: ‘I am pretty sure I used the phrase and called her a little c***. She was a kid, it was too much. We didn't see eye to eye, we didn't get along.’

When asked about the day Lucy died, Nicholson said: ‘I wouldn't say it was a bad day, I didn't find out she died until the 26th.’

He added: ‘Looking back at it, it would be classed as a bad day, a child died.’

Mr Mousley asked him if he had compassion for Lucy, to which he replied: ‘I was upset for my friends and I thought it was wrong, no child should die.’

Nicholson added: ‘We didn't get along, I was upset for my friend, at the same time I do not feel any child should be killed, children are the next generation.’

The defendant also agreed that Lucy was ‘vulnerable’.

Nicholson admitted that he ‘soft-choked’ women, which involved squeezing their neck during sex, and said he did have a penis piercing.

He is charged with Lucy's murder as well as three counts of rape against her when she was aged 12.

Nicholson also faces a charge of sexual activity with a child against Lucy on multiple occasions when she was aged 13.

He is also charged with sexual activity with a child in relation to a 14-year-old girl in 2012.

The defendant denies the charges and the trial continues.