A 19-year-old who subjected a gay teenager to homophobic abuse before robbing him has been jailed for two and a half years.

Harry Shakespeare, 19, of Great Chesterfield, was found guilty of robbery at Chelmsford crown court, the Cambridge News reports.

The court heard he had robbed his 16-year-old victim on August 14th last year of a mobile phone, hoodie and £3 in cash.

Shakespeare showed the victim a shiny object in his coat which was believed to be a lighter but the victim assumed it was a knife.

The incident happened when the victim walked past Shakespeare and another man, Philip Webster, 19, on Saffron Walden Common.

Webster admitted threatening behaviour but did not turn up in court.

The pair made homophobic and indecent remarks to the 16-year-old and Shakespeare slapped his bottom.

Shakespeare then robbed the victim after leading him to believe he had a knife.

The court heard that Shakespeare had drunk nine pints before the robbery. In mitigation, his lawyer said he had not been planning to steal.

Judge David Turner QC told him: “You behaved as a vile bully, approaching a 16-year-old and embarking on vile, verbal sexualised abuse, moving into violence. He must have been terrified.”