A HOMOPHOBIC man who beat a gay couple unconscious has a 'compassionate' side and has become 'suicidal' in jail, says his advocate.

Brandon Taylor, previously of Newtown Road, Worcester, was detained in a Young Offender Institution for nine and a half years at Worcester Crown Court last Friday.

This followed a spate of violence which rendered the couple unconscious, one suffering a broken nose and the other a broken jaw and with an open gash on his temple.

Both victims ended up in a trauma unit following the attack in Malvern on September 20, 2019 after Taylor and other members of the gang made a string of homophobic and sexual comments about the couple, one of whom identifies as transgender.

Slurs were made about the victims, both of whom are autistic, wearing black nail varnish and about lube and oestrogen as the gang demanded they supply them with cocaine.

Even when of the victims got down on his knees and begged the gang to stop, telling them they were pacifists, Taylor and others carried on with the attack.

The 19-year-old was jailed for grievous bodily harm with intent, wounding, three counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, robbery, common assault, breaches of a criminal behaviour, assaulting an emergency worker and three thefts.

During his campaign of violence he threw a pool ball in a man's face in the Horn and Trumpet pub in Worcester, punched and bit a man in McDonald's, robbed someone of a skateboard, swung a punch at an Asda security guard in the city, stole beer, flouted a criminal behaviour order and bit a city police officer. As previously reported, Taylor was jailed for seven and a half years for the attack on the gay couple but must serve this consecutively to a two year sentence for all other matters.

Taylor must serve at least two thirds of the extended seven and a half year sentence (which includes a two and a half year extended licence period) in custody before he is considered for release by the Parole Board after Judge Nicolas Cartwright ruled him to be a 'dangerous offender'.

Elizabeth Power, defending, said her client's most powerful mitigation was his guilty pleas to all matters. She said he had been in custody since February 4 last year awaiting sentence, time which will count towards his sentence.

"There were concerns he was at risk of suicide. He made attempts to commit suicide," she said.

Ms Power added: "This is a young man who suffers, and has suffered for some considerable period of time, with depression. He was rendered homeless at the age of 13. He is someone who has been in a crowd now for a number of years taking illicit substances."

The barrister told the judge most of the offences were committed in drink or under the influence of drugs.

"This is somebody who does have empathy and compassion", she told the court. She added: "This is not a man who is devoid of empathy or care and compassion for others." Ms Power said Taylor had even come to the aid of someone who had been assaulted at a flat in Worcester. She also stressed that most of the offences for which he was due to be sentenced were committed when he was 17 or 18 years of age. She said he had a job in prison as a 'binman' and had been given a level of trust by the prison system.