After secretly molesting a 12-year-old girl, the child eventually revealed to her abuser that she was pregnant with his baby. However, after stabbing her to death in a grisly scene, the predator later told police that he wasn’t guilty because of the girl’s “fantasies.”
Out of the goodness of her heart, 31-year-old Stacey White took in 25-year-old Stephen Nicholson as a lodger in her home in Southampton, England. For over a year, the young tattoo artist lived in the packed home with White and her partner, Richard Elmes, and her children, which included 12-year-old Lucy McHugh.
Not long after moving in, Nicholson took an unnatural liking to McHugh, eventually grooming the child for his sick sexual purposes. Disturbingly enough, the sexual relationship eventually ended up with the girl becoming pregnant by her much older abuser shortly after she turned 13. It was then that Nicholson went to extremes to cover up his deeds.
Soon after telling her abuser that she was pregnant with his baby, Nicholson allegedly met McHugh at a sports center in Southampton before repeatedly stabbing her 27 times in the neck and chest, leaving her to die in a pool of her own blood, according to Mirror. The girl’s body was found by a dog walker nearly 6 weeks after she went missing from her home.
Almost immediately, Nicholson was arrested for suspected rape and murder as investigators discovered some of McHugh’s clothing with DNA linking him to her death. Additionally, the court submitted the child’s diary, which detailed her ongoing sexual relationship with Nicholson and her pregnancy, prosecutor William Mousley revealed, Express reports.
On May 30, she wrote: “Dear Jackass, Last night was amazing, Stephen and I slept together multiple times.” Mr. Mousley said Lucy described “increasingly violent” sex which included descriptions of him grabbing her neck.
Despite seeing the strong evidence against him, the suspect came up with the most disturbing excuse. Nicholson reportedly claimed that McHugh’s confessions about their sexual episodes and her subsequent pregnancy are nothing more than the “fantasies of a 12/13-year-old girl.” He insisted that he never had sexual contact with McHugh and had nothing to do with her murder.
Evidence continues to mount against Nicholson. Just days before McHugh’s murder, the pair got into a heated argument when he returned home to feed his pet reptiles. According to a witness, McHugh was heard shouting, “This is all your fault” and “I have got a hold on you anyway,” suggesting that she was referencing her pregnancy.
Nicholson was charged with murder as well as 5 counts of rape of a child, which occurred when the victim was 12 and 13. However, this isn’t the first time Nicholson has run into trouble with underage girls. He was also charged with previous sexual activity with a 14-year-old girl, whose identity is protected. Just as he has with McHugh’s case, he vehemently denies the allegations with the unknown girl.
Disturbingly, witnesses claim that McHugh’s mother, White, ignored repeated warnings that her daughter was being sexually and physically abused by Nicholson. White reportedly dismissed the allegations as “fantasy” and told her daughter to “shut up” when McHugh confirmed her suspicions. She brushed off the claims as her daughter living in a “fantasy land” and having a simple “crush.”
One of Lucy’s friends – who cannot be named for legal reasons – told the court during Nicholson’s trial: “Two weeks before she died, she told me Stephen was slapping her and it was getting worse. I told her to go to her nan’s and I asked her if she had told Stacey. She said she did but Stacey told her to shut up and to get out her fantasy land as it would ruin someone’s life.”
Nicholson was later found guilty of murder and rape. He was subsequently handed a life sentence with a minimum of 33 years in prison. He claims that the murder has left him with “an emptiness that will never be filled.”
Unfortunately, all the signs that this little girl was being abused were ignored until it was too late. Thankfully, her killer is locked away in a place that doesn’t take too kindly to child abusers.