A 14-year-old boy has pleaded guilty to taking part in an attack on a gay Liverpool student.

Liverpool magistrates’ court heard that the boy had been part of a seven-strong gang which hurled homophobic abuse at the 19-year-old student and punched him in the face.

The boy, who cannot be named because of his age, was convicted of actual bodily harm but could not be found guilty of a more serious offence as there was not enough evidence to show he had shouted homophobic abuse at the victim.

The Crown Prosecution Service decided there was not enough evidence to prosecute the other boys.

The attack took place on November 18th on Lord Street near James Street Station as the student, who was said to be flamboyantly-dressed, made his way home to Spital.

He was followed down the street by the group as they shouted abuse at him and punched him.

Covered in blood and crying, he called police on his train home.

CCTV footage suggested that some of those involved may have been as young as 12.

The victim told the Liverpool Echo: “I knew little would be done against him because of his age.

“But hopefully this sentence will prevent him doing certain things with his life and he’ll learn this isn’t the way to behave.”

The attack took place several weeks after gay trainee policeman James Parkes was seriously injured by a homophobic gang in the city’s gay quarter.

Last month, police said there was insufficient evidence to charge the 15 youths arrested in connection with the attack on Mr Parkes.