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  1. ITV Report

Man accused of murdering schoolgirl Lucy McHugh denies killing her

  • Watch Kerry Swain's full report below

A man accused of murdering 13-year-old schoolgirl Lucy McHugh in Southampton has denied killing her.

Lucy was last seen alive on the morning of July 25 last year.

Her body was found by a member of the public in woodland near to Southampton Sports Centre 24 hours later, less than two miles from her home in Mansel Road East.

Credit: ITV Meridian

A post mortem examination concluded that she died from stab wounds.

Extensive police searches of the sports centre and surrounding areas were conducted.

On November 14, a man was charged with Lucy's murder.

At Winchester Crown Court on Thursday, the accused man, former care worker Stephen Alan Nicholson, answered clearly "not guilty" when the charge was put to him.

The trial was due to start on May 1 but the judge Mrs Justice May agreed to a new date of June 18.

Stephen Nicholson was remanded in custody.

Police searched the woodland surrounding Southampton Sports Centre Credit: ITV Meridian