Three thugs have been locked up for a "frenzied attack" on a chivalrous Good Samaritan who they beat and repeatedly knifed.

Gary Hawley was punched, thumped and then slashed and stabbed seven times by the gang.

The 50-year-old, of Yeadon, had gone to the aid of three young women being crudely abused by youths.

The court heard Markus Lavelle and Reece Lupton were among those hurling obscenities at the women from a flat in Yeadon High Street.

When Mr Hawley, who had called at a Chinese takeaway opposite, intervened, the court heard, the two teenagers rushed down to fight him.

Prosecutor Tony Kelbrick told Leeds Crown Court yesterday Lupton - now 16 but 15 at the time - punched Mr Hawley hard in the face.

Lavelle - now 17 but 16 at the time - joined in, raining blows on Mr Hawley's head and body.

Mr Hawley described the assault as "a frenzied attack" while he was sitting defenceless in his vehicle.

Jason Pears, 17, then got involved after one of the crowd handed him a knife. He stabbed and slashed Mr Hawley seven times in his chest and back. Mr Hawley was left bleeding on the ground after he fell from his car. By the time he reached hospital, he was unable to speak and spent three days having treatment.

The court heard that although he had made a good recovery his mental health was impaired and he had suffered from vertigo since.

Pears, of Gipton Gate, Gipton, Leeds, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. Lupton, of Hendford Drive, Barkerend, Bradford, admitted actual bodily harm and stealing Mr Hawley's mobile phone. Lavelle, of Henshaw Oval, Yeadon, also pleaded guilty to actual bodily harm.

Mr Kelbrick said the offence happened at 11.30pm on August 24 last year. The three women were going home from a pub when Lupton and Lavelle made lewd remarks and invited them up to the flat.

Mr Hawley tried to stop them shouting abuse and was about to get into his car when Lavelle and Lupton ran out.

Mr Kelbrick said that, after the stabbing, Pears buried the knife, swapped his blood-stained shirt for one stolen off a washing line and returned to try to wipe fingerprints off Mr Hawley's car. After he was arrested he made no comment except to say he was bored by the interview.

The court heard all three had previous convictions for violence. Pears had committed burglary and assaulted a neighbour, beating him with a stick. Lupton had been sentenced for robbery and assault and Lavelle for racially aggravated assault by spitting at someone.

John Elvidge, for Pears, conceded that the judge was bound to be revolted by the facts. But Pears was egged on and provided with a weapon by others.

Sarah Barlow, for Lupton, said the public would find the case revolting and very disturbing. Lupton was the sole carer for his seriously sick father and had recently suffered a serious stabbing injury. He wanted to return to school and then join the Army.

John Boumphrey, for Lavelle, said he stupidly joined in, took a relatively minor part and had stayed out of trouble since.

Judge Kerry McGill said Mr Hawley had behaved in a gentlemanly and chivalrous fashion. He had not wanted to fight but had been set about by Lupton and Lavelle.

"It was a disgusting, lawless assault on an innocent member of the public by two thugs in drink," said the judge.

Pears had then "flipped" and joined in, illustrating the danger of knives and the lawlessness of youth.

It was only by good luck Mr Hawley was not more seriously injured.

The judge said Pears was a danger and he imposed a sentence of detention for public protection. This is an indefinite sentence and Pears must serve at least two years before he can be considered for parole. When he is found to be no longer a risk he will be considered for release but must stay on licence for the rest of his life.

Lupton was sentenced to 18 months' detention and Lavelle to 12 months.

After the case, Mr Hawley said: "They deserved everything they got. Now there is a closure to it and I hope I can get back to some sort of normality. I feel justice has been done today."

Detective Constable Lee Fletcher, of Pudsey Weetwood police, said: "I am pleased with the decisions. Gary Hawley was subjected to a vicious assault for no other reason than asking a group of youths to stop shouting at people in the street.

"I hope the sentences given out today will in some way help Gary move on from this."