TWO brothers who attacked a transsexual in the street have been spared a prison sentence.

Luke and Nathan Statton, of Bridgwater, assaulted the victim after “a laugh” turned sour.

Both admitted assault and received suspended sentences at Taunton Crown Court today (January 27).

Luke, 24, of Penzoy Avenue, was given an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, while Nathan, 23, of Monmouth Street, was sentenced to five months in prison, also suspended for two years.

Sentencing, Judge Eric Salomonsen said: “I have seen the CCTV of this unprovoked attack. I have no doubt homophobic remarks were used.

“Luke Statton, you pushed home this assault by kicking and standing on her.

“If either of you put a foot out of line for the next two years you know what is going to happen.”

The incident happened at around 6.30pm on March 27 last year when the brothers, who used to live in the flat above, were walking past the victim’s home and Luke kicked over a sign outside the house.

Prosecuting, Rebecca Bradberry said the pair knew the female victim when she was a man before her operation and in a police interview Luke said they were “having a laugh”.

However, it was said the victim retaliated and stormed out of the house, before being pushed by Luke.

The court heard the victim tried to swing back but missed, at which point Nathan punched her in the face.

It was then that Luke continued to kick and stamp on the victim while she lay helplessly on the ground.

Defending Luke, Emma Martin said any suggestion of hostility towards sexuality was not true and added: “This was an incident of mischief.

“He is upset at his actions and does not afford any ill-will to the victim.”

Defending Nathan, Simon Cooper said: “He struck in defence of his brother. Nathan bitterly regrets his involvement and is a hard working young man.”

Luke was also ordered to pay £250 compensation, £200 in costs and £100 victim surcharge while Nathan has to pay £250 compensation, £100 victim surcharge and £600 in costs as he only pleaded guilty on the day of trial.