Man who raped and killed 13-year-old Lucy McHugh and pep texted her mom to 'keep chin up' gets 33 years in jail

'Predatory pedophile' Stephen Nicholson, 25, was afraid the teenager would expose his year-long abuse when he was a lodger at her home  


                            Man who raped and killed 13-year-old Lucy McHugh and pep texted her mom to 'keep chin up' gets 33 years in jail

The murderer of schoolgirl Lucy McHugh, 13, has been jailed for life and will be required to serve a minimum of 33 years in prison. Stephen Nicholson, 25, was on July 18 found guilty of the "execution-style" killing of the young teenager on July 25, 2018. 

The pedophile was in fear that Lucy would expose his year-long abuse against her and was living in Lucy's home as a lodger. Nicholson was told that he would need to serve at least 33 years in prison before he is considered for release. Nicholson, a tattoo artist, was found guilty of three counts of rape when Lucy was only 12 years old. As reported by Mirror, judge Justice May told Nicholson while sentencing him, "This was a pitiless attack on a child following months of sexual exploitation. The prosecution has described it as execution and I am satisfied this is correct."

Stephen Nicholson sentenced to life in prison and must serve at least 33 years before being considered for release (Twitter)

She added that it was a combination of Nicholson's narcissism and anger which determined that Lucy needed to be put out of the way. Nicholson showed no emotion as he was sentenced and was also given 17-year concurrent prison sentences for each of the rape charges. In addition, he was also jailed for nine months for the offense of sexual activity with a child in another case in 2012. Lucy had been lured by Nicholson to the woodland at the Southampton Sports Centre on July 25 last year. He then proceeded to stab the teen 27 times in the neck and upper chest. 

The man's audacity was evident in the fact that he sent Lucy's mother a "supportive" message, asking her to "keep her chin up" as he coolly got on with a DIY project to convert a shed into a house for his pet snakes, which included a 2.7-metre (9ft) boa constrictor, The Guardian reported.

The authorities described Nicholson has a "predatory pedophile" who had abused and taken advantage of the "vulnerable" youngster over the span of a year. He killed the teenager to silence her when she had threatened to expose the abusive relationship. She had also told him that she would tell her mother that Nicholson had gotten her pregnant though a post-mortem examination showed that she was not pregnant at the time of her death. 

The investigation into Lucy's death has been described as "one of the largest in criminal history" by the CPS. Nicholson's hand was established via DNA evidence found on clothing which had been discarded in Tanner's Brook. He had also attempted to cover his tracks by inflicting wounds on Lucy to make it look like self-inflicted ones. Lucy's mother, Stacey White, released a statement that said, "I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart the support from our close family and friends during this harrowing time. The dedication from Hampshire Constabulary, the specialist teams across the country and the local communities helped to get justice for my precious daughter Lucy."

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