A MEMORIAL garden in memory of Southampton teenager Lucy McHugh is to be unveiled at her former school today.

Bosses at Redbridge Community School will officially open Lucy’s Garden with a ceremony this afternoon.

It comes more than a year after the 13-year-old’s body was discovered in a wooded area of Southampton Sports Centre, and months after her killer, Stephen Nicholson, was jailed for her rape and murder.

The new £5,000 garden, which is on the school’s grounds, is aimed to be an educational space for students, as well as a quiet area of reflection for her classmates and friends.

It contains a space for horticulture, a chicken coop and features a plaque of a family crest which Lucy had drawn in one of her exercise books.

The half-acre site bordering the A33 also includes benches made by the students, a fruit and vegetable garden and a semi-wild area.

Headteacher Jason Ashley said: “There was something quite unique about Lucy and the students wanted to do something in her memory.

“She was only with us a year but she made an impact on a lot of people.

“I felt the kids needed something physical - somewhere to go if they wanted to reflect.

“We also wanted there to be an educational side, to provide a lasting legacy.”

As previously reported in the Echo, Lucy’s killer Stephen Nicholson, 25, of no fixed address, was found guilty of Lucy’s rape and murder after a four week trial at Winchester Crown Court.

The trial heard Nicholson had been secretly sexually abusing the 13-year-old for a year while living in her home as a lodger of Lucy’s mother’s boyfriend.

Nicholson fatally stabbed Lucy in a wooded area of Southampton Sports Centre on July 25 last year. Her body was found the following day.

The trial heard Nicholson received a message from Lucy the night before her murder alleging she was pregnant - though this was not the case.

He was jailed for life, with a minimum term of 33 years.