Hoodie ‘had teen victim and murder accused’s DNA’

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Lucy McHugh was stabbed to death in July 2018

Clothing found dumped in woodland had DNA links to a schoolgirl found stabbed to death and the man accused of her murder, a court has heard.

Lucy McHugh, 13, was found dead in woodland at Southampton Outdoor Sports Centre in July 2018.

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

His trial heard a bloodstained hoodie he was alleged to have dumped contained his and Lucy’s DNA.

Giving evidence at Winchester Crown Court, forensic scientist Jessica Adby said DNA samples were taken from clothing found in woodland at Tanner’s Brook near the sports centre.

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Mrs Adby said a sample from the hoodie was highly likely to match the DNA of Lucy and Mr Nicholson.

She told jurors DNA taken from a pair of blue surgical gloves found at Tanner’s Brook was extremely likely to match that of Mr Nicholson.

Image copyright Hampshire Constabulary
Image caption They jury has seen images of Lucy’s jacket

Referring to an “extensively blood-stained” jacket and vest-top found on Lucy’s body at the sports centre, Mrs Adby told the court no DNA matches to the defendant were found.

She said he “could be a minor contributor” to a sample from her leggings which included DNA from five people.

Mrs Adby added no semen was found on any of the clothing.

Image copyright Hampshire Constabulary
Image caption Stephen Nicholson denies Lucy’s murder

Mr Nicholson 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.

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

The trial continues.

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