THREE Bolton men have been jailed for a series of 'horrendous and unprovoked' racially aggravated assaults in a city centre.

Amin Mohmed, Mohammed Patel and Faruq Patel have all been sentenced at Liverpool Crown court for a number of assaults in March 2016.

Police were called to Renshaw Street in Liverpool city centre at around 3.30am on March 20 last year.

They were called to a report that three men had assaulted the victims, causing facial injuries and were arrested a short time later.

Two of the victims came forward to police and a further three have not been identified.

All three men were convicted of two racially or religiously aggravated assaults and affray.

Mohmed, aged 24 and of Perendale Rise in Bolton has been sentenced to 42 weeks in prison, Mohammed Patel, aged 20 and of Eastbank Street in Bolton has been sentenced to 42 weeks in a young offenders institution and Faruq Patel, aged 19, and of Crumpsall Street in Bolton, has been sentenced to 18 weeks in a young offenders institution.

Detective Inspector, Mark Drew of Merseyside Police, said: "These were a horrendous and unprovoked assaults on people who were simply going about their business in the city centre.

"I am sure the local community would agree that this type of behaviour has no place in Merseyside and I believe the sentences imposed by the court today reflect how serious this matter has been treated.

"I also hope that this will send a message out that Merseyside Police is committed to maintaining the rights of all our communities to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect and that any offences targeting people because of their race, disability, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity will not be tolerated.

"I would continue to urge victims of hate crime to report offences to the police so that we can take prompt action. However, we are acutely aware that sometimes people may be reluctant to come forward to the police, because of sensitivities or concerns they may have and there are other ways for people to report hate crime."

He added that reluctant victims can go through third-party reporting centres such as Daisy UK, who specialise in disability hate crime reports on 0800 694 2123 or Stop Hate UK on 0800 138 1625.