Appeals over Lucy McHugh murder to be made at sporting events

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Police are making appeals at major sporting events this weekend for help with the investigation into the murder of schoolgirl Lucy McHugh.

The body of the 13-year-old was found at Southampton Sports Centre on the morning of July 26. She had been stabbed to death.

Hampshire police are attempting to piece together the teenager’s final movements after she left her home in Mansel Road East at 9am on Wednesday July 25.

A force spokesman said: “Leaflets will be handed out at the Hampshire cricket fixture at the Ageas Bowl tonight (Friday) and the Saints friendly at St Mary’s tomorrow (Saturday).

“Messages will also be displayed on the grounds’ big screens as we continue to appeal for information about the 13-year-old’s death in Southampton.”

Detective Superintendent Paul Barton said: “We have already been contacted by over 100 members of the public with information.

“We’re really grateful for this support and this extends to Southampton FC and Hampshire Cricket for their help this weekend.

“We hope our appeal at these sporting events will jog people’s memories further.

“We’re looking for sightings of Lucy between 9am on Wednesday 25 July, when she left her house in Mansel Road East, and 7.45am on Thursday 26 July, when her body was found in woodland at the sports centre.

Floral tributes at the scene near Southampton Sports Centre
Floral tributes at the scene near Southampton Sports Centre (Ben Mitchell/PA)

“We want to speak to anyone who was with Lucy, who spoke to her or thinks they may have seen her.

“In addition, dashcam footage or private CCTV images may help us with our inquiries.

“We’re also keen to hear from anyone who was involved in activities at the sports centre on Wednesday 25 or knows which clubs were there.”

Lucy was last seen wearing a distinctive black jacket with white sleeves, with the logo for the band Falling in Reverse on the front and RADKE 01 in red on the back, and a white vest top, camouflage leggings and black and white Jordan 23 trainers.

Stephen-Alan Nicholson, who was arrested on suspicion of murder and sexual activity with a child, was released on police bail on Tuesday but remanded in custody by Southampton Magistrates’ Court after he was charged under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act for failing to provide his Facebook password to detectives.

The 24-year-old will next appear at Southampton Crown Court on August 31.

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