THE trial of a man accused of the murder of schoolgirl Lucy McHugh has been adjourned for a second day after the defendant fell ill.

Carer Stephen Nicholson, of no fixed address, is accused of repeatedly stabbing the 13-year-old to the neck and upper body at Southampton Sports Centre before leaving her to die in July last year.

The trial was due to resume at Winchester Crown Court this morning, but was adjourned for the day.

It comes after the judge, Mrs Justice May, told the court on Monday: “The defendant is receiving medical treatment so he is unable to be here.

“It would be unfair to carry on without him.”

The trial is due to resume tomorrow.

The 25-year-old defendant, who is also a tattoo artist, is charged with Lucy’s murder as well as three counts of rape against her when she was aged 12.

He also faces two charges of sexual activity with a child against Lucy on multiple occasions when she was aged 13.

Nicholson is also charged with sexual activity with a child in relation to another girl aged 14, dated June 29, 2012.

He denies all charges and is remanded in custody.

Last week, prosecutors alleged that Lucy told Nicholson she was pregnant before her death.

It was claimed that she had been in a sexual relationship with the defendant for more than a year.

Jurors heard Nicholson had “an interest in underage sex” and exploited Lucy, who was described by prosecutor William Mousley QC as “vulnerable”.

“[Lucy] was repeatedly stabbed to the neck and upper body and she bled to death as a result,” Mr Mousley told the court last week.