A Leicestershire teenager has been jailed for seven years for his part in a vicious attack on a gay man.

Adam Ayres, 18, tricked the gay man into meeting him in a car park and ambushed him last March, the Leicester Mercury reports.

The 50-year-old victim, who was contacted on a gay dating website, was knocked to the ground and beaten with bats by Ayres and three other men.

He suffered a fractured skull and needed 28 stitches for his head wounds, which were deep enough to show the bone.

Leciester crown court heard that Ayres claimed he suspected the man was a paedophile but did not believe he would get hurt.

He was convicted of conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm but denied the charge, saying that he was “tricked” into going along with the ruse.

He claimed that he did not know his friends were carrying weapons.

The court heard that after the attack, in Burbage, Ayres joked about it on his Facebook account.

Passing sentence on Friday, Judge Sylvia De Bertodano told Ayres that he would have received eight years in jail if he was an adult at the time of the offence and that it did not matter whether he had hit the victim.

Mitigating, Andrew Tucker said Ayres was “immature” but not homophobic. He said the defendant had the capability to “feel sorrow for others” and had been led by a group.