WORKMATES accused of abusing a colleague by tying him to a cross have been found not guilty of religiously aggravated assault.

A court was told that Andrew Addison, aged 31, Joseph Richard Rose, 21, Christopher Jackson, 22, and Alex Puchir, 37, had carried out a sustained campaign of bullying against a teenage boy between July 2014 and April 2015.

During the trial it was alleged the victim also had penises drawn on him in marker pen and was paraded through a street in York after being taped to a chair.

But the jury at York Crown Court took a day to find the four men - Puchir, of Glenallen Drive, Edinburgh, Jackson, of Acorn Close, Barlby, Addison, of Westbourne Road, Selby, and Rose, of Main Street, Bubwith, - not guilty of religiously aggravated assault of an apprentice joiner.

Addison was also found not guilty of a separate charge of putting the apprentice in fear of violence by harassment, however jurors found him guilty of a separate charge of assault on the apprentice.

Rose was found guilty of putting the apprentice in fear of violence by harassment.

Addison and Rose will both be sentenced in July.

Judge Paul Batty QC told them: "You have been convicted of a very unpleasant offence.

"I have not decided what to do with you yet. Each of you should have known better."

The court had been told how the teenage victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had begun an apprenticeship with Direct Interior Solutions, a shopfitting firm managed by Addison in July 2014.

As part of working for the firm, the youngster was required to travel across Yorkshire, the South East and London to work on shop refittings with a team that included Addison, Rose, Jackson and Puchir.

In evidence given to the court, the mother of the Catholic teenager said she noticed changes in her son after he started working as an apprentice joiner.

In uncontested evidence read at York Crown Court, the parent said he had started gambling, lost his normally placid temperament and spent long periods alone in his room.