A MAN dressed as Batman  staged a protest in central Southampton.

Nicki Hughes, a member of the New Fathers 4 Justice group, put up a number of banners on a footbridge over Portland Terrace this afternoon.

He was dressed in the superhero’s trademark black mask and a black and grey outfit and wielding a megaphone with a high pitched alarm which he is activating intermittently rather than shouting into it.

Drivers passing below the bridge linking the old town walls were occasionally honking their horns, while passersby pointed and took photographs of him as he stood motionless at the railing.

Mr Hughes, 29, is protesting on behalf of the group and another organisation, Stop the War on Dads, and has attached two cardboard banners bearing the name of each group.

The father, from Bristol, has chosen Southampton to stage his protest as he has friends based here.

He said he arrived yesterday and intended to camp out on the Walls – arming himself with a supply of food and water while his friends bring him hot drinks.

He told the Daily Echo he is refusing to leave until social services take notice he said: “I am going to stay here as long as it takes and I am not leaving here whether it’s a year or ten years."

Daily Echo:

New Fathers 4 Justice is described as a "UK based direct action fathers rights group campaigning for the rights of fathers to see their children".

Members of the group have held several previous protests in Hampshire, including ones at the Civic Centre in Southampton and in Winchester city centre.

A spokesman for Hampshire Constabulary said: “We are aware of the protestor dressed as Batman in Southampton. We were alerted at 9.14am this morning.

"We have since spoken to the man who was on the Castle Way footbridge near WestQuay and we are satisfied he is only there to demonstrate.”

Editor’s note: Fathers For Justice Ltd of Stamford, Lincolnshire, have asked us to point out that there is no connection between them and the organisation “New Fathers 4 Justice” mentioned in this report.