SOPHIE Lancaster and Robert Maltby posed for a picture moments before they were attacked in a skate park, a jury was told.

Twenty-year-old student Sophie and her 21-year-old boyfriend Robert had posed for the photo in Stubbylee Park, Bacup, after befriending a group of teenagers they had met there.

But while the photo was being taken a witness said she heard a gang of youths decide to attack the pair.

A 16-year-old boy has pleaded guilty to Sophie's murder and a 15-year-old boy is on trial for the same offence.

Preston Crown Court was shown two police interviews with a 15-year-old girl who was in the park at the time.

In the first she failed to mention that she had witnessed the start of the attack. But in the second she told police this was because she was scared of what might happen if she was the only one to come forward.

Speaking in the second interview, the girl said they had met former Haslingden High School pupils Sophie and Robert, who lived together in King Street, Bacup, earlier on in the evening and had gone onto the skate park together.

She said: "I tried to take a photograph with my phone, but the button wasn't working.

"I was putting my phone away and the 15-year-old boy just ran over and smacked Robert.

"He just flew over.

"Robert went to the side but laughed. But that must have been because he was nervous because he was shocked he had done it.

"I had heard the 16-year-old boy say 'oh let's start on him' when I was trying to take the photo.

"Nothing happened for a couple of seconds and then Sophie ran over to Robert.

"Sophie was next to him but no one was punching her. She was trying to push them all off him. I could see they were all getting at him. Robert was bleeding from his face."

A police officer is heard on the tape asking the girl why she didn't mention this during her first interview.

She said: "My friend had said I wasn't there. I was scared. I didn't want to say anything.

"I didn't want to be the only one on my own to tell a different story.

"Then more people have come up and said what happened. They shouldn't get away with it. I thought they had got them all and they were all going to get done anyway, so it wouldn't have made a difference."

Five boys, including the two charged with murder, have also pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm in relation to the attack on Robert.

The prosecution say the attack on Sophie and Robert was carried out by a "savage and merciless" gang of youths for no other reason than they were dressed differently.

Sophie died two weeks after the attack without regaining consciousness.

Undergraduate Robert made a partial recovery, the jury has been told.