The prime suspect in the case of murdered Southampton schoolgirl Lucy McHugh has appeared in court charged with refusing to provide detectives with his Facebook password.

Stephen-Alan Nicholson was remanded in custody on Tuesday after appearing in the dock charged with the offence, which carries a maximum two-year jail sentence.

Southampton Magistrates Court heard the 24-year-old, of no fixed address, refused to provide his password to police officers investigating any private messages sent between him and the 13-year-old.

 

Lucy’s body was discovered in a woodland near Southampton Sports Centre on Thursday morning, less than 24 hours after she was last seen by family.

Hampshire Constabulary detectives investigating her death said on Monday the teenager had been stabbed to death.

Hundreds of children from her former school released balloons and collected money to pay towards funeral costs on Tuesday.

Students from Redbridge Community School gathered in a park around 200 yards from Lucy’s home to pay their respects.

The teenagers hugged one another as balloons were released and asked for donations for a bench or plaque at the school in her memory.

One close friend, 13-year-old Ruby Nichols, who organised the event, described Lucy as “lovely and kind”.

“She was really bubbly, fun to hang out with and she was very funny – she would always make people laugh,” she said.