Gay campaigners have condemned as shockingly lenient the sentences given to two "queer bashing" Elmbridge teenagers who used a Samurai sword and imitation rifle to terrorise their victims.

Gary Smith, 19, of Cowley Crescent, Walton-on-Thames, and Spencer Payne, 18, of Locke King Close, Weybridge, drove to Ockham Common, a well-known gay rendezvous near Wisley, last May with the weapons in the boot of their car.

After taunting and insulting the men gathered there, they got out the sword and aimed the rifle at them as they fled for their lives.

But on December 22 the pair effectively walked free from Guildford Crown Court after receiving suspended sentences with community service orders.

Smith had pleaded guilty to possessing an offensive weapon in public, Payne pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

Detective Constable Pete Foster, of Surrey Police, said: "These were serious offences that caused the victims to fear for their safety. No-one should have to suffer victimisation and intimidation simply because of who they are."

However, Gino Meriano, chairman of the charity Gay Surrey, said strong words from police were being undermined by light sentences handed out by the courts. "It's shocking. If they wanted to send out a message that using a fake firearm and Samurai sword to target gay people is a very serious crime then this sentence isn't anywhere near strong enough," he said. "These people are specifically going to the area with the intention of hurting gay people." He added that there was little in the way of support for victims of gay-hate crimes.

In court Rupert Hallowes, prosecuting, said the teenagers had been drinking at the Hand and Spear pub in Weybridge on May 1, 2006 before driving to the common.

He said Smith walked over to a car and urinated in front of it while taunting a number of men standing next to their vehicles.

As the pair got more aggressive the men got into their cars to leave. Smith went to the boot of his car and pulled out what a witness believed was a lethal 80cm long Samurai sword. Payne grabbed a rifle from the boot and aimed at cars as they drove off.

Later that night officers arrested the pair. Mr Hallowes said as Smith was arrested he was heard to say: "All this for a bunch of queers." James Buchanan, defending Smith, said that his clients' behaviour that night had been "reprehensible" but did not justify a jail sentence.

Defending Payne, David Castle, said the supermarket worker had drunk eight pints of lager and several tequila shots at the pub.

Recorder Jack Bayliss said: "You went out with the intention, I have no doubt, of upsetting and harassing members of the gay community who were using Ockham common.

"Whatever your personal views may be, society will not put up with what is commonly referred to as queer bashing."

Payne was sentenced to 51 weeks imprisonment suspended for two years with 200 hours unpaid work. Payne received a 30-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, along with 150 hours unpaid work. Both defendants were also ordered to pay £235 costs.