A man who murdered a gay council officer has had his prison sentenced reduced by two years.

David Meehan, who was 19 at the time, admitted murdering James Kerr, 51, in a public park and leaving him for dead while he and his accomplices went to a party.

The attack took place in Perth, Scotland, in April 2007.

Meehan, now 21, was originally jailed for a minimum of 16 years. Appeal judges yesterday reduced his sentence by two years.

Although Judge Lady Paton acknowledged the “unjustified, vicious and callous attack”, she said the judge who sentenced Meehan had not given enough weight to his previous relatively clean record and the remorse he had shown.

According to the Courier, she added that there was nothing to show homophobic intent on the part of Meehan, unlike the younger boy who had initiated the attack.

Kerr was an openly gay Perth and Kinross Council employee. He died of severe head injuries hours after being kicked and beaten.

He had been walking in South Inch park, a known cruising area, on the night of the attack.

He struck up a conversation with a 15-year-old boy who later phoned his friends Meehan and another man, Martin Souter, to claim Kerr had made sexual advances towards him.

The three all admitted punching him on the face and knocking him to the ground.

Meehan and Soutar admitted kicking him numerous times in the head, with Meehan admitting landing the blows which amounted to murder.

Soutar admitted committing culpable homicide and stealing his victim’s lighter and a set of keys as he lay on the ground.

Soutar was sentenced to nine years in prison while the 15-year-old boy was sentenced to a year’s detention.