A straight man was beaten-up by a gang because they thought he was gay, a court was told yesterday.

Asa Freeman, 33, suffered serious brain damage after four men saw that he had a limp wrist caused by a stroke and thus assumed his sexuality, Swindon Crown Court was told.

Mr Freeman and his friend, who is also straight were on a night out in Townbridge when they were set upon by the gang who poured out abuse, shouting, “faggot” and “queer” at the men.

Paulo Rossi, 20, and Shane Flexon, Lee Frisby, and Joel Bailey, all 19, deny inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent.

Andrew MacFarlane for the Crown Prosecution Service told the court that Rossi, a boxer, hit Mr Freeman so hard he knocked him out and made him hit his head on the floor.

Mr Freeman suffered a serious blood clot on the brain that required urgent surgery. He is described as being in a stable condition and has recovered “a sort of consciousness” according to Mr MacFarlane.

The case continues