THE mum of a murder victim's school friend said she was "pretty disgusted" after hearing she was not a virgin.

The mum, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told Winchester Crown Court 13-year-old Lucy McHugh tried to then change her story, saying it was "just kisses".

She added Lucy had told her she was scared of her home and the lodger. The witness was giving evidence during the trial of Stephen Nicholson, who had been lodging with Lucy's family from around November 2017 until a few weeks before her death.

Daily Echo:

The 25-year-old carer, of no fixed address, faces a charge of 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.

Yesterday, members of the jury were read a transcript of the interviews Nicholson had with police following his arrest at Totton train station on July 27 last year – the day after Lucy's body was found in woodland at Southampton Sports Centre.

In it, he said Lucy was obsessed with him and even woke up to see her standing over him, adding she would follow him around the house and take his belongings.

During the subsequent police interviews, Nicholson denied having anything to do with her murder, or having any sexually activity with her.

He said he complained to Lucy's mum and stepdad – Stacey White and Richard Elmes – about her behaviour, which he described as "stalkerish".

Daily Echo:

Nicholson added Lucy had threatened to tell her mum he had got her pregnant in the days before her death. The trial has already heard Lucy was not pregnant.

In the interview, Nicholson also told police he had thrown away his Samsung mobile phone because he knew police wanted to speak to him.

He said he had bought drugs and feared his safety would be compromised if police were to go through the phone and see who his dealers were.

The court also heard Nicholson burned a pair of trainers on the afternoon of Lucy’s death – July 25 – after damaging them while cleaning out his mother’s shed.

The jury was told the scale of the police search operation, including a finger-tip search believed to be the largest in the UK.

Daily Echo:

Among the items found were a blood-stained blue hoody, which had blood-stained surgical gloves in the pocket. These were found, along with tracksuit bottoms and some items of clothing which police said appeared to be burned, in a wooded area of Tanner’s Brook, off Bindon Road, Shirley Warren.

The trial is expected to resume on Monday morning at Winchester Crown Court.

Nicholson denies all the charges.