Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Lucy McHugh murder trial shown last CCTV footage

Lucy McHugh Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Lucy McHugh's body was found in woodland at Southampton Sports Centre on 26 July

A murder trial jury has been shown the last time 13-year-old Lucy McHugh was captured on CCTV before she was found dead in woodland.

A dog walker found her body at the Southampton Outdoor Sports Centre on 26 July, Winchester Crown Court heard.

The schoolgirl was filmed walking towards the centre the previous morning, the jury was told.

Stephen Nicholson, 25, who lived with Lucy and her family in Southampton, denies murdering her.

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Media captionThe jury was shown CCTV of Lucy McHugh walking past Tesco Express

He also denies three charges of raping Lucy when she was 12 and two counts of sexual activity with a child once she had turned 13.

Nicholson, formerly of Mansel Road East, also denies sexual activity with a 14-year-old girl in 2012.

In a statement read out in court, dog walker Richard Morrell said he found the body in a "mass of bushes" off a path, some time after 07:15 BST.

"I called out, 'Hello, are you OK? Can I help?," he recalled, before realising Lucy was dead.

"I panicked and thought, what do I do? I just needed to get help," he said.

Image copyright Hampshire Constabulary
Image caption Lucy was captured on CCTV carrying a bottle of blue liquid on a two-mile walk from her home to the sports centre

Mr Morrell said Lucy had been lying face-down "almost in the recovery position... with her right arm extended, as if asleep".

Police crime scene investigator Luke Gregory said the location was "well-covered and sheltered with overhanging tree branches".

In a statement, he said Lucy was found with multiple stab wounds to the neck.

The jury was shown images of "heavily-bloodstained" plastic fragments found at the scene, which prosecutors described as being from a broken knife handle.

Image copyright Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire
Image caption Stephen Nicholson denies murdering Lucy

A partially-consumed sports drink was also found near the body, the court heard.

Lucy was captured on CCTV carrying a bottle of blue liquid on a two-mile walk from her home to the sports centre between 08:59 and 09:30 on 25 July, the court was told.

Mr Nicholson was also filmed cycling towards the sports centre that morning, the jury heard.

CCTV images showed him making a return journey later that morning carrying a white plastic bag, prosecutors said.

Previously the prosecution told the court the defendant had repeatedly abused Lucy over the course of a year-long "secret sexual relationship".

He told police after his arrest that Lucy sent him a Facebook message the night before her death saying she was pregnant, the jury previously heard.

The trial continues.

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