TWO teenage boys have been warned they could face imprisonment after pleading guilty to attacking a man leaving him with a badly broken arm.

Their 58-year-old victim who was described as “vulnerable” needed surgery on his arms after he fell against railings following the incident on Bridge Street in the town centre in April.

His attackers aged 16 and 15 handed themselves in to police shortly after a CCTV appeal was published on the Star’s website.

In a hearing at St Helens Youth Court, prosecutor Ali Sarwar described what happened: “It was approximately 8pm and the man had been at a bookmakers collecting his winnings.

“He was walking along Bridge Street and bumped into a wing mirror before having an argument with the driver.

“He then passed a group of teenagers and had a conversation.

They were telling him to kick the car in. They then asked him to buy them something for £5 from a shop.

“He tried to ignore them but said he recalled two males and a male.

As he walked away he felt two strikes to the back of his head, the second of which sent him to the floor.

“In hospital he was operated on and had screws and a metal plate put in his arm. He also needs physio.

“The CCTV was circulated in the local press and they were named by several members of the public.”

They handed themselves in on June 17 when they were arrested and interviewed. Mr Sarwar said that an off duty police officer had witnessed the attack seeing two males strike the man as they rode past on bicycles.”

Frank Roe defending said: “Two lads on bikes come up to a group of youths talking to this man. He walks away along Bridge Street towards the cinema and it’s suggested that they give him a ‘happy slap’ for want of a better word.

“The complainant had had a drink and put his hands out and catches it in the pedestrian fencing.”

Magistrates adjourned the sentencing for three weeks but warned the pair “all options will be considered” including custody.