A man who repeatedly pushed a gay couple to the ground as they tried to make their way home in Cumbria told a court he had no recollection of the attack.

Christopher Tormey, 32, received a suspended prison sentence for the assault, during which he also shouted homophobic abuse at the two gay men.

The men were walking home in the market town of Penrith after a night out, the Cumbrian News and Star reports.

Ryan Lee and Andrew Kane were physically and verbally abused by Tormey, who said he could not recall the attack but accepted it must have happened.

He pleaded guilty to causing Mr Lee actual bodily harm after perforating his ear drum, and also guilty to assaulting Mr Kane.

Judge Peter Hughes QC handed down a six month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

Tormey must also complete 150 hours’ unpaid community work, pay the couple £750 in compensation.

Judge Hughes said: “This really was quite disgraceful.

“You may not have any recollection of it and it may be that you can’t bring yourself to accept that you behaved in that way, but it is quite clear it was a very unpleasant experience for those two men and that you used unpleasant homophobic language.”