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Man who poured boiling water on sleeping gay couple jailed for 40 years

By Will Stroude

A truck driver in Atlanta, America who scalded a sleeping gay couple with boiling water has been imprisoned for 40 years, according to the London Evening Standard.

48-year-old Martin Blackwell was sentenced after being found guilty of aggravated battery and assault on Wednesday (August 24). Georgia has no hate-crime laws, so the attack was not recognized as one by state law.

The victims, Anthony Gooden and Marquez Tolbert were sleeping on a mattress in the home of the former’s mother when the attack took-place.

Blackwell, who stayed at the house when he passed through while out in his truck saw the men sleeping, boiled a saucepan of water and poured it over the pair. Anthony had come out to his family just hours before the attack.

Marquez Tolbert (right) with his mother and grandfather in court (credit: Associated Press)

Marquez now has to wear special compression clothing for 23 hours a day for the next two years. He is also undergoing counselling for the psychological impact of the attack and his injuries.

Speaking to the courts, Marquez described the attack as “the most unimaginable pain in my entire life”.

Recounting the night, he said: “I’m wondering why I’m in so much pain. I’m wondering why I’m wet. I don’t understand what’s going on.”

Blackwell, who pleaded not guilty told officers at the time of the attack that the couple were “were stuck together like two hot dogs … so I poured a little hot water on them and helped them out. They’ll be alright. It was just a little hot water.”

Investigators are considering charging him with a federal hate crime, according to Reuters.n FBI spokesman told Reuters.

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