Four men have been accused of stabbing a London man 12 times because they believed he was gay, a court has heard.

The group, aged between 16 and 31, allegedly believed that Ricky Brown, of Homerton, east London, had made advances to young boys after offering them drink or drugs, the Tottenham Journal reports.

Police arrested Bradley Goddard, 21, of Keston Road, Tottenham, Emmanuel Nwachukwu, of Station Road, New Barnet, 31, and a 16-year-old and a 17-year-old who cannot be named due to their ages.

Mr Brown was attacked at 4am on August 26th last year at his home. He had called for help before he was stabbed and police arrived to find him screaming.

A couple who gave Mr Nwachukwu and Mr Goddard a lift to Hackney Wick that evening claimed that the pair said they were going to see a man who tried to touch boys sexually after giving them alcohol or drugs.

Prosecutor Simeon Hopkins said: “The phrase ‘batty man’ was being used in regards to this person. It was alleged he was a homosexual. The Crown say this person was Ricky Brown.”

The four men deny aggravated burglary and two counts of burglary.