THE family of a Burnley schoolboy who was bundled into a car, taken to a remote location and beaten up have hit out at the 'lenient' sentence imposed on his att-ackers.

Mujahid Ansar, Shaid Ansar, Zeeshan Ali, Imran Ali and a 17-year-old friend avoided prison sentences at Burnley Crown Court after admitting assaulting the youngster last April.

The Alis, aged 22 and 19 and both of Carr Road, Nelson, and Yousaf, 18, of Howgill Close, Nelson, were given 12-month suspended jail sentence and three-month curfews.

Each were also ordered to pay the victim £500 in compensation.

Ansar was given an 80-hour community service order and the 17-year-old was given 60 hours of unpaid work.

The court heard that the gang of five set upon the boy because he had been seen talking to one of their cousins.

He was hit with a crook lock during the assault and a footprint was left on his face by one of his attackers.

After the violence he was left to walk home alone.

But the father of the victim, who has asked not be named, said the sentences, handed out by Judge Andrew Woolman last week, were 'unduly lenient and disappointing'.

He said: "I really feel that a golden opportunity has now been lost to send a strong message to the community.

"I am particularly saddened that it has taken a great deal of effort from my young son, standing up to these people and willing to go to court where others may not have.

"And all this effort has amounted to nothing.

"The original attack and in particular the subsequent sentence has been devastating to him. His grades at schools have slipped and he is nervous in unfamiliar places and never allowed to go out unaccompanied,"

The father has contacted Lancashire's Crown Prosecution offices in Burnley, urging lawyers to launch an appeal against the sentences.

He has paid tribute to the police and prosecutors in bringing the case to court - but feels 'appalled' at the outcome.

A Lancashire CPS spokesman said: "We are reviewing the issues which he has raised in his letter."