A teenager who verbally and physically abused a gay couple has been spared jail in order to deal with his alcoholism.

Callum McCarthy, 18, of Atherfield Road, Southampton, took part in the attack on the couple as they returned to their home in Shirley in the early hours of the morning.

The couple were subjected to homophobic abuse and one was pinned to the floor by McCarthy while another teenager kicked him.

McCarthy admitted causing actual bodily harm in the incident.

According to the Southern Daily Echo, Judge Gary Burrell QC told him he deserved an 18-month sentence but it was important to address his drink problem.

Instead, he sentenced McCarthy to a 12-month suspended sentence, a 12-month supervision order and treatment for his addiction.