Three boys who beat a homeless man to death in Liverpool following a dare were convicted of murder.

The teenagers - two aged 14 and a 17-year-old who cannot be named because of their ages - attacked Kevin Bennett, 53, as he slept rough outside a supermarket in the city.

During their trial at Liverpool Crown Court, the jury was told the 17-year-old had goaded one of the 14-year-olds by saying: "I bet you haven't got it in you to do him in."

The younger boy later told his friend: "I started kicking him, I booted him and now he's dead," the court heard.

The second 14-year-old stood look-out as the attack took place, the prosecution said.

Mr Bennett died in hospital six days after the beating in the early hours of August 17 last year.

The three boys had denied murder. They were convicted by a unanimous jury of seven women and five men following a four week trial and 13 hours of deliberations.

The first 14-year-old closed his eyes and put his forehead against the glass dock as the verdicts were delivered. The two other boys showed no emotion.

The boys shared the dock with a 42 year old woman who was convicted of perverting the course of public justice by providing false alibis for two defendants. All four were remanded in custody for sentencing in the week commencing April 15.

Trial judge, Recorder Clement Goldstone QC, ordered psychiatric and psychological assessments of the boys to be carried out by a expert adolescent psychiatrist.