A MAN dressed as Batman returned to Southampton city centre this morning to re-launch his protest.

Nicki Hughes, a member of the New Fathers 4 Justice group, is demonstrating on a footbridge over Castle Way near WestQuay shopping centre.

As previously reported, the caped crusader set up camp on the walkway linking the old town walls yesterday, sporting a black mask and black and grey body suit and refusing to leave.

He returned to the site this morning after abandoning plans to sleep there - telling authorities he will leave at 7pm each evening.

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

He has put up two cardboard banners on behalf of the group and another organisation Stop the War on Dads and is brandishing a megaphone with a high pitched alarm which he is activating intermittently rather than shouting into it.

The 29-year-old said he is refusing to leave until social services take notice and said: “I’m not leaving from this bridge. It’s freezing, but at the end of the day if my fingers fall off it’s worth it.”

Drivers passing below the bridge are occasionally honking their horns, while passersby are pointing and taking photographs of him.

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.

Hampshire Constabulary said they have been alerted, but are satisfied he is 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.