A vigil is taking place this evening in Liverpool city centre in memory of gay teenager Michael Causer.

The 18-year-old was fatally kicked and stamped on at a house party in Huyton, Merseyside, in 2008.

James O’Connor was jailed for a minimum of 11 years for the murder of the teenager in March 2009.

Although a witness testified that anti-gay abuse was shouted while Michael Causer was attacked, a judge said the killing of the hairdresser had not been motivated by homophobia.

Michael’s killer was sentenced on the basis it was not a hate crime, but his family have always believed he died because of homophobia.

In June, Michael’s mother, Marie Causer said she still could not find it in her heart to forgive those responsible for her son’s death, whom she described as “evil”.

The family are currently trying to raise £1 million in order to open a hostel for vulnerable LGBT young people as part of the Michael Causer Foundation.

As well as remembering Michael, Friday’s vigil will also honour Liverpool teenager Anthony Walker, who was murdered in a racist attack in Huyton in 2005; Sophie Lancaster, who was murdered in Bacup, Lancashire, in 2007 for the way she looked; and Ali Forney, who was murdered in New York  in 1997.

A joint hate crime vigil in New York will also take place at the same time as the one in Liverpool.

On Saturday Liverpool hosts its annual LGBT pride event.