Lucy McHugh trial: Jury shown footage of schoolgirl’s final movements
The jury in the trial of a man accused of the murder of schoolgirl Lucy McHugh has been shown CCTV footage of the 13-year-old's final movements.
Carer Stephen Nicholson, 25, of no fixed address, is accused of repeatedly stabbing the teenager to the neck and upper body at Southampton Sports Centre before leaving her to die in July last year.
CCTV footage was played to jurors at Winchester Crown Court which showed Lucy, wearing leggings and a white top, walking from her home in Mansel Road East, Southampton, in the direction of the outdoor sports centre at 9am on July 25.
The journey took Lucy half-an-hour and shows her carrying a bottle as well as taking her jacket off and checking her watch, the jury was told.
The jury was also shown CCTV footage of Nicholson riding his bike from Mansel Road East, where he was living at his mother's house at the time, to a friend's house near the sports centre on July 25 and the day before.
He was also shown making another journey by bike to and from the sports centre, including distant footage of a cyclist within the grounds taken at about 9.46am on July 25.
He was shown buying items from a Tesco Express store at 9am that day and is seen in other footage carrying a bag from the shop.
The jury was also shown footage of Nicholson riding after he is alleged to have disposed of blooded clothing at woodland at Tanner's Brook.
Police investigator Stephen Dicker said the plastic bag appeared to be ‘less full’ than before.
A statement from witness Richard Morrell described how he found Lucy's body while taking his dog for a walk in woodland at the sports centre on the morning of July 26.
He said: ‘It almost looked like she was asleep, I feared it was the worst case scenario but hoped it wasn't.’
The jury was shown the broken part of a knife's plastic handle which was found next to Lucy's head, as well as a sports drink bottle discovered next to her body.
The 25-year-old defendant, 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.
He also faces two charges of sexual activity with a child against Lucy on multiple occasions when she was 13.
Nicholson is also charged with sexual activity with a child in relation to another girl aged 14, dated June 29, 2012.
William Mousley QC, prosecuting, has told the court Nicholson is accused of killing Lucy after she told him she was pregnant.
He said the defendant had been ‘exploiting’ the ‘vulnerable’ teenager during a secret year-long sexual relationship.
Nicholson denies all charges and is remanded in custody.
The trial was adjourned until Thursday.