Walton man guilty of gay toilet murder

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Walton man guilty of gay toilet murder

Postby GaySurrey » Tue Nov 04, 2008 10:40 pm

30-year-old accused of murdering a gay man in a Walton toilet used by homosexuals for sex has been found guilty of murder.
Mark Malone was found guilty at the Old Bailey today of murdering Jeff Akers in Cowey Sales toilets last February.
The court heard how Malone had taken an eight inch knife from a nearby burger van and attacked Mr Akers, stabbing him in the back so hard the blade entered up to the handle.
Mr Akers, a gay man from Wallington, was found in his underpants with a blade embedded in his back after staggering from the toilets.
He was airlifted to hospital but died from his wound.
Malone, from Walton, told the court he was involved in a scuffle with the 50-year-old after he made advances on him and said that although he did not remember the fight he must have stabbed Mr Akers in self-defence.
The court was told that Malone, who is married with children, had drunk a bottle of vodka before the stabbing.
Malone had told the court he had been carrying the knife to protect himself against a group of gypsies who he claimed had been hassling him.
But the prosecution dismissed his explanation as a fallacy.
The court also heard evidence from Malone's brother-in-law Paul Malone and Paul Malone's girlfriend Emma O'Brien.
The pair told the court Malone, who took his wife's name after marriage, had demonstrated to them how he had stabbed Mr Akers on the day of the murder.
Malone told the court the pair had given evidence against him after being coached by police. Ann Cotcher, acting for the prosecution, told the jury Malone was a man who never took responsibility for his own actions.
“It's never Malone - it is always somebody else,” she said.

Gay rights campaigner Gino Meriano, speaking after the verdict said: “It is a fantastic verdict and shows justice has been well and truly served. Let's hope he gets life.

“This shows this kind of discrimination is never tolerated and that any form of hate crime is not acceptable.

He added: "A lot more work needs to be done to stop hate crime in Surrey.”

Malone told the court he was "devestated" about what had happened to Mr Ackers. He said: "This is life-changing for me and for Mr Acker's family."

Malone is due to be sentenced in December.
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