A 30 year old stole an eight inch knife from a burger van and attacked a gay man in a public toilet known as a meeting place for sex, a court at the Old Bailey has heard.

Accountant Jeff Akers, 50, staggered out of the toilet in Walton, Surrey, in his underpants and fell to the ground with the kitchen knife in his back.

Mr Akers, a gay man from Wallington, was attacked on February 19th in toilets near Walton Bridge.

He was taken by air ambulance to St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey where he died. A post-mortem revealed that the cause of death was a single stab wound to the back.

A retired accountant, he lived with his partner of 22 years.

Mark Malone denies murder. The prosecution said that the attack on Mr Akers was homophobic.

Members of the public gave evidence yesterday.

“I went into the second cubicle and was there for a matter of minutes,” Charles Hoeseason told the court, according to the Thurrock Gazette.

“Then there was a male voice. It was difficult to hear but it said, ‘Oh God, I’ve been stabbed. I’ve been stabbed’.

“He shouted it two or three times. I didn’t think it was serious because I’d heard nothing before.

“I walked out of the door and saw a man on the ground. The thing that struck me was that there was no blood on his legs and I thought he was drunk.”

Another witness, James White, who was outside the toilet, told the court:

“When he turned towards me I saw an object in his back. I ran out of my car to help. When I saw a knife in his back I called 999.”

Malone, 30, from Walton-on-Thames, handed himself in to police two days after the stabbing and claimed Mr Akers tried to make sexual advances towards him in the toilets.

He denies murder.

“Such was the force used in the attack that the knife sliced through one of his ribs and caused a fatal haemorrhage,” prosecution lawyer Ann Cotcher told the Old Bailey at the start of the trial.

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

“It was a deliberate attack and it was a ferocious attack.”

Jurors will be asked to decide if Malone, who drank a bottle of vodka before the incident, acted deliberately or if the stabbing was an accident.

Miss Cotcher said it was not in dispute that Malone caused the fatal blow.

The trail continues.