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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 January 2008, 15:17 GMT
Jenny 'murdered by married lover'
Jenny Nicholl
Jenny Nicholl's body has never been found
A married man's jealousy of his teenage lover's blossoming relationship with his older brother led to her murder, a court has been told.

David Hodgson, 47, had been seeing Jenny Nicholl since she was 14 and would "kick off" if she talked to other men, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Miss Nicholl, of Richmond, North Yorks, was 19 when she went missing in June 2005. Her body has never been found.

Father-of-two Mr Hodgson, of Olav Road, Richmond, denies murder.

'Possessive jealousy'

James Goss QC, prosecuting, told the court: "The prosecution case is that the defendant David Hodgson murdered Jenny Nicholl the night she disappeared and disposed of her body somewhere in the neighbouring countryside with the intention that it should never be found.

"So this is the case where there is no body. Jenny simply disappeared. Nor is there any crime scene, we cannot point to a location and say, for sure, this is where Jenny was killed."

The court was told that Miss Nicholl and Mr Hodgson became friends because she went to school with his two daughters.

"The defendant, until after Jenny had disappeared, denied there was anything between them," Mr Goss said.

"In fact, as he was to admit in later interviews, they did have a relationship that included sexual intercourse."

Scientific evidence will show that Miss Nicholl and Mr Hodgson had sex in two "hides", which the defendant and his older brother, Robert, had built in woodland on the outskirts of Richmond, Mr Goss said.

Text messages

He told the jury: "Jenny told a friend about her ongoing affair with a married man since she was 15 and how he had 'kicked off' when he had seen her with another boyfriend, from whom she then split up.

"This evidence of possessive jealousy has relevance to the last weeks of Jenny's life in Richmond."

In the weeks before her disappearance, Miss Nicholl became friends with Robert Hodgson - although he was unaware of his younger brother's long-standing relationship with the teenager.

The teenager was last seen leaving her home in Bolton Avenue, which she shared with her parents, on 30 June, 2005.

That afternoon David Hodgson left his family home and said he was going camping. He did not return home until the following morning.

On 4 July, Mrs Nicholl reported her daughter to the police as missing. Later that day she found Jenny's white Rover 214i car abandoned in a local pub car park.

Mr Hodgson is alleged to have sent text messages to Miss Nicholl's friends and family from her mobile phone, intending that they would provide an explanation for her sudden and unexplained disappearance.

The trial continues.

The relationship between Nicholl and Hodgson

Missing Jenny trial jury selected
14 Jan 08 |  North Yorkshire

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