A further six boys have been arrested on suspicion of the assault on gay trainee policeman James Parkes on Sunday night in Liverpool’s gay village.

Twelve teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 have now been detained by Merseyside police for the attack.

Six were arrested earlier this week and bailed. Five boys between the ages of 13 and 16 were arrested last night and bailed pending further enquiries.

A 15-year-old boy was arrested today.

Parkes was out with his partner and friends on Sunday evening when they were attacked by up to 20 youths.

Police say the group shouted homophobic abuse before attacking him. He suffered fractures to his skull, cheekbone and eye socket in the attack.

His condition was first described as critical, although the Liverpool Echo reports he has been well enough to describe to police and his family what happened on Sunday evening.

Parkes’ parents, Ann and Ron, released a statement yesterday thanking the Liverpool gay community and local police for their support.

They said: “We can’t believe the ignorance of the young people who carried out the attack on someone who was just out on a night out with friends and had done nothing wrong.

“We are really keen that the young people involved in the attack are caught and brought to justice and would ask anyone who knows anything about the attack to contact the police.”

Parkes began working as a police community support officer in Liverpool two years ago and joined the force as an officer in May.

A vigil has been organised this Sunday evening on Stanley Street, where the attack took place.

Hundreds of people are expected to attend.