Lucy McHugh murder: Social workers in the dock over 13-year-old's death

Mail Online | 7/18/2019 | Mario Ledwith for the Daily Mail
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Grieving relatives of murdered teenager Lucy McHugh last night accused the authorities of failing to protect her from a sexual predator.

Lodger Stephen Nicholson, 25, has been found guilty of stabbing the 13-year-old to death 'execution-style' as he feared she would expose his sadistic abuse.

Care - Worker - 'cold - Paedophile - String

The drug-dealing care worker can now be exposed as a 'cold and calculated paedophile' who pursued a string of underage victims.

Police suspect he used his skills as a tattoo artist and his access to cannabis to groom other children. Family members questioned why social workers did not spot Lucy was in grave danger – despite repeated warnings being raised up to a year before her death.

Southampton - City - Council - Incident - Review

Southampton City Council launched an urgent serious incident review after it was revealed teachers were warned she had a 'boyfriend' ten years older than her.

But during the trial, jurors heard social services dropped their enquiries after Lucy's mother insisted she was not in any danger – allegedly claiming she simply had a 'crush'.

Lucy - Grandfather - Keith - McHugh - Failure

Lucy's paternal grandfather Keith McHugh, 65, said the failure to investigate caused the family 'a lot' of concern. He said: 'The school did their bit [by flagging the case] but social services did not do their bit.'

Nicholson, who has the word 'freedom' tattooed across his forehead, remained stony-faced yesterday as a jury at Winchester Crown Court convicted him of murder and three rape charges.

Girl - Sex - Payment - Tattoo - Crime

They also found him guilty of persuading a 14-year-old girl to have sex with him in 2012 as 'part payment' for a tattoo. The crime took place in the same woodland where Lucy was murdered.

Last night her father described how the murder had left him facing 'an emptiness that will never be filled' while her mother said she had finally achieved 'justice for my precious daughter Lucy.'

Police - Finger - Nicholson - Lucy - Body

Police immediately pointed the finger at Nicholson after Lucy's body was...
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