A handicapped man, known as Elvis because he sang in pubs, was stamped to death by two teenage thugs, a court heard yesterday.

Mr George Smith was taunted and abused by a teenage gang as he walked home. He was cornered in a school playing field as he took a short cut home, the High Court in Glasgow heard.

Scott Gaughan,17, and a 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, both said to be from good homes but high on Buckfast and Hootch, mercilessly punched and kicked their defenceless victim unconscious.

Lord McCluskey said the pair walked away, leaving Mr Smith to choke to death in his own blood.

The judge said: ''There was a group attack by youths, who had taken drink, on a man with a mental handicap who was alone, in darkness, and beyond help.''

The judge said that Mr Smith, of Ferness Oval, Balornock, Glasgow, had been kicked insensible.

Before sentencing Gaughan, of Ferness Place, and the 16-year-old, each to seven years, the judge read them parts of the post-mortem examination report on Mr Smith. He told them they had inflicted injuries to 43 areas of the dead man's head, neck, and body.

Lord McCluskey said: ''His scalp was swollen with a dozen bruises, and the imprint of footwear was on his head.

''Photographs show hideous injuries to his face, eyes and cheek, nose and mouth, and fractured ribs.''

A third accused, John Hood, 16, of Ferness Oval, Balornock, was placed on deferred sentence for a year after admitting a reduced charge of punching Mr Smith once on the head. His plea of not guilty to murder was accepted.

Gaughan and the 16-year-old both admitted the culpable homicide of Mr Smith by punching, kicking, and stamping on his head.

Defence advocate Ronald Watson said that Hood had been drinking Alcopop and Hootch and was under pressure to join in the attack on Mr Smith.

Mr Watson said: ''He threw one punch and has been in custody for almost four months.''

Mr Jack Davidson, QC, said that Gaughan, an apprentice tiler, was deeply ashamed of what he had done. ''He is otherwise a law-abiding young man from a good and supportive family.''

Mr Donald Findlay, QC, for the 16-year-old, said: ''I will never understand why these young men from decent backgrounds should end up in the dock of the High Court. It would appear they were fired up by communal anger, drink, and bravado.''