On November 4, Mark Malone was found guilty of murdering a fifty-year-old retired accountant by plunging an eight-inch carving knife into the unsuspecting victim's back when approached for sex in a men's restroom outside of London, England. Malone was sentenced at the Old Bailey yesterday to a minimum of 30 years by a judge who told him: “[You went] looking for someone you thought was gay to stab.”

The murder of Jeff Akers came while cruising for sex at a public toilet frequented by gay men in Walton-on-Thames, outside of London, England. Malone told the court that he'd lashed out at Akers after being propositioned for sex, but could not remember attacking the gay man.

“It was a totally unprovoked attack by Mark Malone and the only possible motive homophobia, a dislike of homosexuals,” said the prosecution.

Malone, 30, who has a history of anti-gay attacks, had served a three-moth jail sentence in 2003 after attacking an autistic man he believed was hitting on him. Justifying the attack, Malone told police the man was “freaking him out” because he was “fucking gay.” And he had attacked another gay man at the same restroom just months before he murdered Akers.

Malone's history of violence dates back to 1993, the court heard.

Akers was an openly gay man who shared a home with his partner, Mike Drew, of 22 years in Wallington, south London.

Drew said in a statement which was read to the court that Akers was loved by everybody and participated in the gay community, particularly helping people infected with HIV.

“I feel that there is only half of me now. I have to look at everything differently. He was really loved by everybody,” Drew said.

During yesterday's sentencing, Judge David Paget said: “You murdered him in a particularly savage way, stabbing him in the back with a carving knife with such force that it completely severed the eighth rib and punctured his right lung. ... You did this simply because he was gay. ... I am satisfied that you took that knife and went into those public lavatories looking for someone you thought was gay to stab.”

He added, “You clearly have an unhealthy interest in knives and very clearly have a hatred of homosexuals,” the BBC reported.

Malone, a currently unemployed married father, had drunk a bottle of vodka on the day of the attack. He said his memory of the incident was hazy, but admitted to knowing the restroom was frequented by gay men looking for sex. During the trial, Malone said that he “had no issues with the gay community and that he himself was not an angry person.”