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
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.”