A GAY man who researched homophobic crime for the Met Police died after he was punched to the ground while walking his dogs, a court heard today.

Tony Hoare, aged 49, was attacked by Leslie Kingshott, aged 42, in Charlton Park, Charlton, where he was walking his Jack Russells, Pam and Eddie.

The blow to his face on the evening of September 11 tore an artery at the base of Mr Hoare's brain which caused a fatal swelling.

Today (Dec 20) Kingshott, of Maskells Court, Victoria Road, Charlton, admitted manslaughter during a brief hearing at the Old Bailey.

On the night of the fatal attack Mr Hoare, a market researcher, had been drinking in the White Swan pub in Charlton village where he had suffered homophobic abuse.

He was later found unconscious in the park and died shortly after being taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich.

Judge Peter Beaumont adjourned sentencing until January 7 to allow a victim impact statement to be prepared on behalf of Mr Hoare's family and partner.

The court heard Kingshott had also been convicted of racially aggravated assault in July.

Mitigating, Edward Henry said: "He is aware of the grief he has caused and has asked me to express his remorse to the siblings of Mr Hoare."

Mr Hoare was the founder of Stormbreak, a market research consultancy specialising in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

He had researched homophobic crime for the Met for several years and had recently published a report claiming there was wide under-reporting of gay hate crime in London.

News Shopper's website was flooded with emotional tributes from friends and neighbours following Mr Hoare's death.

Around 60 people attended a candlelit pilgrimage in his memory from his home in Kinveachy Gardens, Charlton, to Charlton Park, holding candles and flowers.

Mr Hoare's partner Robert Bowen, aged 45, from Forest Hill, previously told News Shopper how they had just returned home from a dream holiday to Italy.

Mr Bowen, a fashion designer and sales assistant at Selfridges, said: "He was everything to me. He's my soulmate.

"He was so full of life, a brilliant, beautiful person."