Lucy McHugh (pictured) was stabbed 27 times by lodger Stephen Nicholson, who groomed and sexually abused the youngster before killing her to prevent her revealing what had happened
The mother of murdered schoolgirl Lucy McHugh now has a police guard as she fears for her life after the 13-year-old girl’s stepfather was attacked in the street.
Lucy McHugh was stabbed 27 times by lodger Stephen Nicholson, who groomed and sexually abused the youngster before killing her to prevent her revealing what had happened.
During Nicholson’s trial, a court heard the 13-year-old’s mother Stacey White, 31, and stepfather Richard Elmes, 22, had dismissed claims Lucy was in a relationship with her killer as a ‘teenage crush’ and ‘fantasy’.
Today, close family and friends of Miss White, from Southampton, revealed she is too scared to even visit her daughter’s grave after receiving abuse online.
It comes after her partner Mr Elmes was allegedly assaulted by two men outside a nearby shop just days after Nicholson was jailed for life for the murder and rape of the youngster.
A family member said: ‘The whole situation is scaring me. It is so dangerous.
‘There is a vendetta against Richard and Stacey. Stacey fears for her life, she doesn’t even feel she can go to Lucy’s grave for fear of being attacked.’
And a friend of Mr Elmes added: ‘They have police outside their home. It’s not right, it is wrecking their life.’
The 13-year-old’s mother Stacey White, 31, (seen outside court) says she is too afraid to leave the house after receiving abuse
Nicholson, 25, had been a lodger at Mr Elmes and Miss White’s home when he began his sick sexual abuse of tragic Lucy, which was only revealed after her death because of diary entries and notes the youngster wrote.
After luring the schoolgirl to Southampton sports centre on July 25, he stabbed her to death in a frenzied attack.
He then dumped the clothing he was wearing in a nearby stream, changed his phone, deleted Facebook messages between him and her and burned the trainers he was wearing during the killing on a bonfire.
He was jailed last week for a minimum of 33 years at Winchester Crown Court following a four-week trial.
Today, Miss White pleaded with people to leave her and her family alone.
She said: ‘All I want is for us to be able to process what we have heard in court and grieve for our little girl, not have to live how these people are making us.’
Lucy’s stepfather Richard Elmes (left) who was attacked in the street, and paedophile lodger Stephen Nicholson (right)
Hampshire police confirmed they have charged two men for the alleged attack on Mr Elmes.
A spokesman said: ‘We are investigating the assault of a 22-year-old man. He was assaulted shortly before 6pm on Sunday and suffered injuries to his head and arm.
‘He was taken to Southampton General Hospital and has since been discharged..’
Wayne Grant, 27, and Charlie Whitemore, 22, both of Southampton, have been charged with causing grievous bodily harm and will appear at the city’s magistrates’ court today.