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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 January 2008, 15:09 GMT
Mother 'found dead girl's dress'
Jenny Nicholl
Jenny Nicholl's body has never been found
The mother of a murdered teenage girl, whose body has never been found, wept as she told a court how she found items belonging to her missing daughter.

Ann Nicholl broke down in tears as she described the moment she discovered clothing and cosmetics belonging to her daughter Jenny, 19, in dense woodland.

Jenny Nicholl disappeared from her home in Richmond, North Yorks, in June 2005.

David Hodgson, 47, of Olav Road, Richmond, denies murder and is on trial at Teesside Crown Court.


Mrs Nicholl told the court that she went with her husband Brian to join a police search for Jenny of Sandbeck Plantation, a wooded area on the outskirts of the North Yorkshire town, on 1 February, 2006.

She said: "There had been so much speculation about that area.

"You just have to go and look for your child. So that's what we did. We were walking around the area because I just had to look and see if I could find something to tell me where she was. I couldn't stay at home anymore."

Mrs Nicholl was walking through the woods, kicking the leaves, when she noticed a tube of cleansing lotion, a jar of face cream and a can of deodorant hidden near a tree stump.

"Then I saw this red piece of cord, so I carried on digging with the stick," Mrs Nicholl told the jury.

"I pulled it out. It was Jenny's. It was a nightdress, which was part of a set of three that I gave her the Christmas before."

Drug claims

Mrs Nicholl said she alerted police and then went home to check Jenny's bedroom.

There she found the matching pyjamas and dressing gown - but the nightdress was missing.

Under cross-examination, Mrs Nicholl, who works at Richmond police station as a cleaner, admitted that she knew Jenny regularly used cannabis.

Jamie Hill QC, defending Mr Hodgson, also suggested that that Jenny had been taking both ecstasy and speed but Mrs Nicholl said she had no knowledge of that.

Mrs Nicholl also denied that her daughter drank excessively, went out drinking every night and had a liver problem.

The court heard on Tuesday that Jenny began a relationship with Mr Hodgson when she was 14 and he admits having sex with her but only after she turned 16.

The trial continues.

Jenny 'murdered by married lover'
15 Jan 08 |  North Yorkshire
Missing Jenny trial jury selected
14 Jan 08 |  North Yorkshire

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