A group of more than 100 people protested at Liverpool Crown Court yesterday over the acquittal on Friday of a 19-year-old charged with the murder of a gay teenager.

Friends and family of Michael Causer, who died last August aged 18 after a brutal attack, said he had been presented to the jury as a “thug.”

“I want someone to explain to me how a lad who worked in an old people’s home for free to try to bring some joy into their lives, who called bingo numbers, who volunteered for the British Lung Foundation’s Breathe Easy scheme can be a thug,” Marie Causer, mother of the victim, told the Liverpool Daily Post.

“Michael was seven and a half stone, he couldn’t have hurt a fly. He was dragged out of his bed at night.

“I am determined to fight this for him. I have to.”

The jury at Liverpool Crown Court spend more than 12 hours considering its verdict before clearing Gavin Alker on Friday.

Mr Causer, 18, was attacked at the Huyton home of his friend Michael Binsteed’s grandmother.

After a 999 call he was found by paramedics in the street on Friday 25th July.

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

James O’Connor, formerly of Huyton, but now of Runcorn, has admitted murdering Mr Causer but denies it was motivated by homophobia.

Binsteed, 18, of Evelyn Avenue, Prescot, admitted perverting the course of justice.

Appearing as a prosecution witness, Binsteed had told the court that O’Connor and Alker kicked and punched Mr Causer in the head as he lay sleeping after an all-night drinking session.

He testified that Alker shouted homophobic abuse at Mr Causer as they beat him.

The prosecution claimed O’Connor and Binsteed then decided to dump Mr Causer in the street by carrying him over a fence.

Binsteed later called an ambulance after seeing Mr Causer bleeding profusely from the nose and mouth, but told police the victim was attacked in the street by three random men.

Binsteed told the court he lied because he is scared of O’Connor and Alker.

Alker testified he had acted in self-defence and was unaware Mr Causer was gay.

He said O’Connor had kicked and punched Mr Causer.

O’Connor and Binsteed will be sentenced at a later date.