Two teenagers who attacked a man on the Tube at North Greenwich and forced him to apologise for being gay have been spared jail.

While being drunk on Lambrini, the 16 and 17 year olds threatened a group on the Jubilee line who in fancy dress for a Halloween party.

The group were confronted as they boarded the train late at night on October 21 last year, with the teenagers along with a third who has never been identified standing directly in front of the partygoers despite the entire train being empty.

One of the teenagers held a 19-year-old man in a headlock, leaving him gasping for breath, and demanded he apologise for his sexuality, Bexley Youth Court heard.

They were all drinking from bottles of Lambrini, the court heard.

The victims, who were both in costume, were travelling westbound when the defendants boarded the train at West Ham and immediately began abusing them and using homophobic slurs.

Both victims managed to film some of the assault on their mobile phones, although at one stage the young man's phone was snatched from him.

Using this footage, an appeal by British Transport Police helped locate the pair and they were arrested in April.

Prosecutor Samantha Mitchell said the boys started using homophobic insults such as "faggot" and "queer", and became violent when one of his friends told them that it was not acceptable.

She continued: "He felt a right arm around his neck, gripping really tightly, he felt like he was being strangled and was struggling to breathe.

"A male took his phone out of his hand, and another male said 'f*cking apologise you f*cking queer'."

The victim's phone was returned to him and the group left the train at North Greenwich, where they reported the incident to police.

In statements, both victims said the assaults had left them anxious on public transport, while the male victim said he had suffered panic attacks.

He said: "I don't think I deserve to be assaulted simply for being gay, and in this day and age I would have expected society to be more accepting."

The court heard that the younger defendant is due to sit his GCSEs this summer and plans to train as a mechanic, while the 17-year-old is training as a bricklayer.

When questioned by magistrate Glenford Shipley-Younan, both boys apologised and said they had been very drunk at the time of the incident - but have since quit alcohol.

Ordering them to attend youth offender meetings for 12 months, Mr Shipley-Younan said: "You are both in court for a very nasty and unprovoked attack on a train late at night on people who were just going about their social evening.

"The people who were attacked and abused by yourselves would have been extremely upset and frightened by that behaviour.

"Both of you said you had been drinking that night, therefore your inhibitions had been lost. This must not happen again."

He told them had they been older they would have probably faced a custodial sentence.

Both boys were ordered to pay £150 compensation to their victims as well as £20 each in costs.