A man who brutally beat up a gay man in an attack while dressed in a tutu has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Alan Banks, 27, was sentenced in the attack which took place outside a KFC in Surbiton, south west London.

During the attack, Banks was dressed in a pink tutu, black tights and ballet pumps.

The homophobic element of the charges was dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service, reports the Kingston Guardian.

The victim Robbie Kingsford, and his boyfriend, said they were left emotionally scarred after the attack.

A charge of actual bodily harm against Samuel Light, 27, was dropped due to lack of evidence.

But Banks put down the attack to a “tragic misunderstanding”, saying Light had asked him for a cigarette by saying “I hate to be a ponce, can I get a fag?”, according to Banks’ defence Donal Lawler .

He said Kingsford thought the pair were making homophobic comments.

But when Banks prepared to throw a punch, one of the victims pushed him with a plastic shield he was carrying as part of a Halloween outfit, Kingston Crown Court heard.

Then Banks punched Mr Kingsford in the face, and once he fell to the floor he kicked him.

CCTV of the attack in the distance was shown to the court

A statement from Mr Kingsford read out by the prosecution Stephen Apted, said: “Whilst the visible injuries only lasted a few months, the emotional and physical injuries have lasted a lot longer and caused me to lose the life I had before the attack.”

Mr Kingsford said he did not hold a grudge, but that he wanted Banks to understand the severity of what he had done, saying he was scared to go out at night, and that he had lost his boyfriend and job following the attack.

Banks had changed his plea to guilty for one count of actual bodily harm on 1 December, and one count of exposure was dropped by the prosecution.

He said through Mr Lawler that he was “mortified” at what he had done, and that he was not “looking for trouble”.

He said: “He was being the sugar plum fairy, he was sprinkling fairy dust…. When his friend asked for a cigarette there was a misunderstanding.”

“It’s what happened after that that is not understandable and inexcusable,” Mr Lawler added.

The sentence was handed down by Judge Nicholas Jones who said he had considered a suspended sentenced, but that he felt imprisonment was the right sentence.

As well as the 18 month prison sentence, he was also ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge.