THE father of murdered Southampton schoolgirl Lucy McHugh says his daughter had her “life stolen from her” by her killer.

Andy McHugh, the teenager’s biological dad, said he was “devastated” that Lucy would “never get married or have children”.

The 37-year-old, from Shirley Warren, also branded her killer Nicholson as a “monster”.

It comes after the 25-year-old was found guilty of the 13-year-old’s murder and rape, following a trial at Winchester Crown Court.

Following the verdict, Mr McHugh, who is a community liaison officer at Shirley Warren Action Church, said: “I’m really happy and it feels like a massive weight off my shoulders.

“He (Nicholson) stole Lucy’s life from her and abused her for his own sexual gratification.

“It’s devastating that she will never grow up, never get married or have children.

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“He stole all of that from her. I think he is a monster.

“He saw that Lucy was vulnerable and he targeted her and groomed her.”

Asked about what sentence Nicholson should receive, Mr McHugh said: “No sentence will ever be long enough, because nothing will ever bring her back.”

Mr McHugh also praised the police’s work in investigating Lucy’s death.

He said: “The police have done a phenomenal job throughout this and they have kept me right in the loop.

“They’ve worked extremely hard to get this result.”

Paying tribute to Lucy, Mr McHugh added: “I will always remember Lucy’s smile. She was always positive and she was a loving and caring person.”

Lucy McHugh’s mother, Stacey White, gave a short statement, read out by police, following Nicholson’s conviction at Winchester Crown Court yesterday.

In the statement, she said: “I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart the support from our closest family and friends during this harrowing time.

“The dedication from Hampshire Constabulary, specialist teams from across the country and the community who have helped get justice for my precious daughter Lucy.”

Ms White released a tribute to her daughter on what would have been her 14th birthday in October last year.

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She said Lucy was killed as she was just beginning the “adventure” of her life.

Ms White described her as “a mixture of fun, laughter, generosity, kindness and whose biggest critic was herself”.

She continued: “A smiling, content little dolly who everyone adored and cherished.

“You soared through your life doing so many things, you never let anything stand in your way.

“You loved so many activities: sports, art, drama, music, travelling, beaches and so much more.”

Ms White added that Lucy had a love of Harry Potter and trips to theme parks and to Cornwall.