Stepfather of murdered schoolgirl Lucy McHugh 'attacked by two men and called paedophile'

The stepfather of murdered schoolgirl Lucy McHugh has told a jury he was "scared and paranoid" when he was allegedly attacked by two men - one of whom had accused him of helping her killer.

Richard Elmes told Southampton Crown Court he suffered a broken elbow in the incident in July last year - two days after Stephen Nicholson was jailed for at least 33 years for raping and murdering 13-year-old Lucy.

Nicholson was a friend of Mr Elmes and a lodger in the family home.

Wayne Grant, 28, and Charlie Whitemore, 22, are accused of causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Elmes.

Mr Elmes, 23, said he was leaving a shop in Southampton when he was confronted by Whitemore, whom he had known since they were at school together.

Giving evidence by video-link, he told the court Whitemore entered the shop and started calling him a paedophile.

Mr Elmes said: "He was insinuating that I had involvement with that and it was my fault that it happened. It made me feel paranoid."

In video footage shown to the court, Whitemore is heard to say: "He let an unconsented relationship with a 12-year-old girl go on under his roof. You are a f****** paedophile."

Mr Elmes said he then hit Whitemore, and added: "I was scared for what might happen in the shop.

"Once you have called someone a paedophile in public, there are certain repercussions that might come from that and I was just scared."

He said Whitemore hit him back before Grant came out of the shop and "dragged me away from the door of the shop and threw me on the floor".

Mr Elmes said he felt "immense pain" from the fall, in which he broke his elbow, and added that Grant - with whom he had previously worked - then "repeatedly punched" him in the back of the head.

He said he tried to protect himself, adding: "I said they had got it wrong and I had nothing to do with it."

Mr Elmes said that both he and his partner, Lucy's mother Stacey White, received abuse on social media because of their link with Nicholson, and that the abuse made him "upset, very annoyed and scared".

He said he had also repeatedly received abuse in the street following the incident.

Both defendants deny grievous bodily harm but Whitemore has pleaded guilty to a charge of assault by beating in connection with the same incident.

The trial continues.