Nicola Stevenson was a 39 year old mother who was registered as being disabled. She had moved to Lewes in East Sussex in 2018 and was given allocated a council flat by the Lewes Council at Landport Estate in the town. Nicola was prescribed pain relief medication and also used alcohol and class A drugs, Nicola was described as a feisty and positive character who soon made friends in the Lewes area.
Nicola took pity on Richard Canlin who she knew and described as her step brother; he was homeless and so she said he could lodge in the front room of her one bedroom flat. This proved to be a mistake as Canlin was psychopathic personality who was quick to enrage and take his anger out on those who were less physically strong as him.