A gay hairdresser has been jailed for two and a half years after he stabbed a man with a pair of scissors due to a homophobic remark.

Lee Howett, 26, from Stanford-le-Hope, Essex, lashed out at the man because he was subjected to anti-gay abuse at Basildon rail station in Essex.

The incident took place at around 11.15pm on Sunday 24 June.

Howett had been drinking heavily and was sitting on a bench waiting for a train to arrive at the station when a group of three men carrying pints of beer joined the platform.

The Mail reports Howett, who was already in an emotional state after confronting an ex-partner, became annoyed with their rowdy behaviour and shouted at them to shut up.

A scuffle then broke out, during which a homophobic comment was made by the victim, who also sustained a bite mark from Howett.

The Essex hairdresser then went back to the bench and took a pair of hairdressing scissors out of his bag and subsequently attacked the victim with the instruments.

It was heard in court that Howlett had been subjected to homophobic abuse since his school days and had recently left a “volatile relationship” with his ex-partner.

He pleaded guilty to one count of wounding with intent.

Judge David Owen Jones sentenced Howett to two and half years in prison.

Addressing the defendant, he said: “It may be and I accept it probably was the case that one of the young men made a homophobic comment towards you.

“That must have been hurtful but unfortunately you reacted very badly when it would have been easier to distance yourself from the group.”