Six men have been convicted of the homophobic attack of two gay men in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

James Maestas, 22, and Joshua Stockham, 24, were attacked on the evening of the 27th February 2005 in the car park of a local motel. Mr Maestas was left in a comatose state for eight days whilst his friend Mr Stockham suffered from minor injuries.

Mr Maestas told the court that he had to learn how to walk again and how to cope with everyday activities such as dressing himself.

Joseph Cano, 19, Jonathan Valdez, 21, and Paul Montoya, 20, Gabriel Maturin, 21, and Isaia Medina, 20 were all convicted of the attack in the court in New Mexico.

“I will never, ever forget this,”Mr Stockham told the defendants. “Having someone hate your lifestyle so much that they would physically beat you is hard to accept. I will forgive you, but I won’t forget.”

Judge Michael Vigil told Maturin and Medina that they would undergo psychological examinations in the sate prison at Los Lunas and would then be sentenced by the court. He warned the pair: ” The viciousness of this attack warrants you going to the penitentiary to see where you will live your life if this type of activity continues.”

The four others were sentenced under the state’s hate crimes law to three years of supervised probation and 500 hours of community service, including speaking to high school and college students about what they did.