A man who left a gay couple with severe burns when he threw boiling water on them as they slept has been sentenced 40 years in prison.

Martin Blackwell was convicted by a jury on Wednesday of eight counts of aggravated battery and two counts of aggravated assault.

Anthony Gooden and Marquez Tolbert were left with severe burns which required them to have multiple surgeries.

Tolbert had said the pain of the burns had stopped him from sleeping at night.

The couple were left with horrific burns after the incident on February 12.

The pair worked together at a local warehouse, and had slept over at Mr Gooden’s mother’s house.

At around 7 AM, while the pair were sleeping, 48-year-old Martin Luther Blackwell – who was dating Mr Gooden’s mother – arrived and decided to throw boiling water over the pair.

“Get out of my house with all that gay,” Blackwell said, prosecutors said, adding that the attack was vicious and premeditated.

A police report of what Blackwell said reads: “They were stuck together like two hot dogs … so I poured a little hot water on them and help them out… They’ll be alright. It was just a little hot water.”

Blackwell allegedly admitted that he carried out the attack because he didn’t like the idea of the two men sleeping together, and later claimed the two were having sex when he poured the water on them.

Before the trial, it was thought that Blackwell would face up to an 80-year jail sentence.

Although the state does not have hate crime protections, the FBI had considered bringing hate crime charges against Blackwell federally.