A man has appeared at Basildon Crown Court after being charged for allegedly setting two gay men alight in a pub garden.

Mitchell Dean, 21, of Essex, appeared on two charges of grievous bodily harm and pleaded not guilty to both, the Leicester Mercury reports.

Two men were severely burned in the incident, which happened in the early hours of a Tuesday morning at the Rainbow and Dove pub last October.

​Russell Banks, 21, and Robert Laszewsk, 20, suffered severe burns in the Charles Street pub’s beer garden after being doused with a flammable liquid and set alight.

Banks spent over a month in specialist burns care unit.

Mr Dean was also answering three similar charges relating to an incident in Basildon and remains in custody and will attend court again later this month.