Stephen Nicholson, found guilty murdering Southampton schoolgirl Lucy McHugh. The Carer worker from Southampton has also been found guilty of Rape of the teenager who was brutally murdered in woodland in Southampton.
Nicholson was also found guilty of repeatedly stabbing the schoolgirl
more than 20 times in the neck and body after meeting her in the wooded area.
Following a trial that lasted a number of weeks at Winchester crown court, the jury found him guilty of the rape and murder the popular teenager.
The decision was a unanimous decision, made after eight hours of deliberation by jury members.
The sick paedophile was also found guilty by a majority of three counts of rape and one count of sexual activity with a child who can not be named for legal reason.
DS Paul Barton, of Hampshire police, would not comment on the contacts between Lucy and other agencies. “We need to wait for the results of the serious case review,” he said.
Barton described Lucy as a clever and promising girl. “She was popular and doing well at school with lots of friends,” he said.
But he believed Lucy had become infatuated with the man who was abusing her. “He used and abused her. He had no further need for her. She had feelings for him. I don’t think he had any feeling for her or anyone else.
I think she gave him an ultimatum: if you’re not going to be with me I will tell people. The only way to silence her was to kill her.
“The most chilling aspect is the planning. He gave some thought to the what-ifs. She probably went to meet him with a spring in her step thinking she was going to rekindle some kind of relationship.”
John Montague, senior district crown prosecutor, called for the process of getting information from companies such as Facebook to be speeded up in such serious cases. “It’s a protracted process,” he added.
Barton added: “I would describe him as cold and calculated. I would describe him as a paedophile and I think he is someone who only thinks about himself and has taken full advantage of this family that have looked after him, provided a roof over his head.
“He has targeted Lucy, taken advantage of her, and when she wanted a relationship with him, he has taken the decision to silence her once and for all by brutally killing her.”
On the Facebook issue, the Metropolitan police commissioner, Cressida Dick, said officers were forced to go through a “very protracted procedure”, and added: “I absolutely think that in certain instances, and it sounds to me like this is one, law enforcement in the UK ought to be able to have vital evidence which might bring somebody to justice.”
A Facebook spokeswoman said: “We have worked closely with Hampshire police throughout this case and have provided information they requested through the mutual legal assistance treaties.
“This is one of the legal mechanisms for the police to obtain information in certain circumstances. We agree that this legal process can be far too slow which is why we have actively lobbied for reforms to EU, US and UK laws to allow us, and others, to directly and more quickly provide information to UK law enforcement authorities.”
The case has been adjourned for sentence on Friday before the Honourable Mrs Justice May DBE