Two teens, accused of beating a gay teenage hairdresser to death in what the police claim was a homophobic attack have been charged with his murder today.

18-year-old Michael Causer was set upon by three youths on Friday 25th July and suffered serious head injuries.

Despite surgery to try to reduce swelling on his brain, he died at 2:30pm on Saturday 2nd August.

Gavin Alker, 19 and James O’Connor, 19 of Huyton, Merseyside, appeared at Liverpool Crown Court today.

The pair were originally due to be charged with grievous bodily harm with intent, but they have been be charged with murder.

Alker and O’Connor were bailed until 17th November, and a provisional trail date of 26th January was set.

Recorder of the Liverpool Judge Henry Globe QC said to the pair: ‘You are both extremely fortunate to be on bail,’ the Liverpool Echo reports.

They have been set a 7pm to 7am curfew and have been tagged. Both men electronic tags for O’Connor, and Alker, 19, the pair now live in Runcorn, Cheshire and they are banned from entering Merseyside except to consult with their lawyers.

Another Huyton man, Christopher Douglas, 19, has been charged with witness intimidation in connection with the murder.

Civic leaders in Liverpool today signed a book of condolence for Michael and his family at the Town Hall.

In a letter today, Liverpool City Councillor Steve Radford, leader of the Liberal Party group, urged Liverpool church leaders to join secular leaders in signing the book.

Councillor Radford wrote:

‘May I urge you, along with other senior church leaders, take a public led challenging homophobia in the city.

‘We all appreciated you public stance after the murder of other young men motivated by the colour of their skin.

‘We pray you will be equally forthright condemning the violence and abuse against people who are targeted because they are gay, lesbian or transgendered.

‘As leader of the Anglican Community in the County of Merseyside and the Diocese of Liverpool your voice would complement the unity being shown by political leaders.’