FOUR Dudley thugs who stripped and beat a vulnerable young man during a terrifying ordeal have been jailed.

The men were each sentenced to three-and-a-half years behind bars after a jury found them guilty of a sustained attack on a 23-year-old man with learning difficulties.

The unnamed victim was stripped and submerged in a bath during the humiliating assault and suffered two puncture wounds to his legs.

At Wolverhampton Crown Court, Judge Martin Walsh told defendants Adam Dudley, Benjamin Fields, Connor Green and Stephen Loveridge: “He was subjected to a sustained, bullying and brutal assault. He was beaten over a period of time.

"It is likely the incident lasted for between two or three hours and it is clear to me he had been terrified by the ordeal that had taken place."

Judge Walsh added it was extremely fortunate that the injuries suffered by their victim were not as serious as they could have been although he also sustained bruising to an eye and his back.

Dudley, aged 20, from Himley Road, Fields, 24, of Wellington Road, Green, 19, from Salop Street, and 20-year-old Stephen Loveridge, of no fixed address, had denied wounding.

They were all convicted by a jury after they retired to consider the evidence at the end of their trial and the judge ruled their crimes were so serious only a substantial jail term was appropriate.

Jason Patel, defending Dudley, said his client was full of remorse for his actions and he had the motivation to put his life back onto the rails after his release from custody.

Harbinder Lally, for Fields, said he had taken class A drugs before the incident as he stressed it was a "one off" as far as violence was concerned.

Kate Thomas, defending Green, told the court: "He is a young man who is very naive and very easily lead" while Jas Mann, for Loveridge, described his client as a young man who had been leading a "fairly disorganised life."