THE stepfather of murdered Southampton schoolgirl Lucy McHugh has told a jury that he was “scared and paranoid” when he was allegedly attacked by two men outside a shop.

Richard Elmes, 23, told Southampton Crown Court that he suffered a broken elbow in the incident outside Arrow News, also known as Shayona News, in Millbrook on July 21 last year.

The incident took place two days after the 13-year-old’s killer, Stephen Nicholson, was jailed for life with a minimum of 33 years for raping and murdering the schoolgirl.

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 said he left the shop, having bought two cans of Monster energy drink, 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: “As I was leaving, Mr Whitemore was calling me a paedophile and telling me I had essentially helped and it was all my fault.

“It made me feel paranoid.

“It made me very scared and frightened for what might happen.”

Mr Elmes said he then hit Whitemore,Whitemore hit him back before Grant “came out of the shop and he 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 head.

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.