A 30-year-old man found guilty of the murder of a retired accountant in a public toilet in Surrey has been jailed for life.

Mark Malone will serve at least thirty years.

He was convicted at the Old Bailey last month of the murder of Jeff Akers.

On February 19th Malone stole an eight inch knife from a burger van and attacked a Mr Akers in the public toilet, known as a meeting place for sex.

Malone told the court that Mr Akers, who was gay, propositioned him for sex and he lashed out, but could not remember the attack.

Mr 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.

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.

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Mark Preston-Heard, said after the verdict:

“This was a vicious, unprovoked homophobic attack by Mark Malone on a harmless, innocent man.

“Our thoughts are with the family who have been forced to endure a trial.

“I would like to thank my team of Surrey officers who worked diligently to prove Malone’s guilt, along with the media who greatly assisted in publicising our witness appeals, using their networks to reach potential witnesses across the country who may not otherwise have been keen to come forward.”

Malone, from Walton-on-Thames, is married with two young children.

It emerged during the trial that he has a conviction for attacking an autistic man who smiled at him in Truro, Cornwall in 2003.

Malone was sentenced to three months in jail. He said he thought the victim was gay.

Malone attacked another man at the same toilets in Walton just months before he murdered Mr Akers.

The public toilets are to be demolished.