BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 7 February 2008, 15:41 GMT
Man denies killing teenage lover
Jenny Nicholl
Jenny Nicholl's body has never been found
A married father-of-two accused of killing his teenage lover has told a court he has "no idea" where she is.

David Hodgson said he had not killed Jenny Nicholl when he was asked at his murder trial at Teesside Crown Court.

The 19-year-old went missing after leaving her home in Richmond, North Yorkshire, on 30 June 2005.

Mr Hodgson, 48, of Olav Road, Richmond, told Teesside Crown Court that in the months before she vanished, Miss Nicholl was planning on leaving.

Jamie Hill QC, defending, asked him: "Have you killed Jenny Nicholl?"

Mr Hodgson replied: "I have not, no".

'Wanted to leave'

When asked if he knew where she was, the former fence erector, who is now unemployed, told the court: "I have no idea at all, no".

The prosecution alleged that Mr Hodgson murdered Miss Nicholl on the night she disappeared and disposed of her body somewhere in the neighbouring countryside with the intention that it should never be found.

However, Mr Hodgson said Miss Nicholl was planning on leaving Richmond.

He said: "She was always on about different places. She wanted me to take her down to London."

He said she also talked about America and Paris and asked him where she could get rid of her car, which he said gave him an "inkling" that she might leave.

Camping trips

Mr Hodgson told the court he had met Miss Nicholl through his daughter when she was 14 or 15.

They had sex five or six times, he said, but only in the year before she went missing. He said they also went camping together "at least five times" in the months running up to her disappearance.

The teenager was last seen leaving her home in Bolton Avenue, which she shared with her parents, on the evening of the day she disappeared.

She told her mother Ann that she would be staying out overnight - something that was not unusual - and took a rucksack with her.

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

The trial continues.

Mother 'found dead girl's dress'
16 Jan 08 |  South Yorkshire
Jenny 'murdered by married lover'
15 Jan 08 |  North Yorkshire
Missing Jenny trial jury selected
14 Jan 08 |  North Yorkshire

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific