BLANTYRE, Malawi — A judge sentenced a couple to the maximum 14 years in prison with hard labor under Malawi’s anti-gay legislation, and crowds jeered the two men as they were driven from the court house to jail Thursday.

The harsh sentence for unnatural acts and gross indecency had been expected after the same judge convicted Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza earlier this week under laws dating from the colonial era. The case has drawn international condemnation and sparked a debate on human rights in this conservative southern African country. Chimbalanga, a 20-year-old hotel janitor, and his unemployed partner were arrested Dec. 27, the day after they celebrated their engagement with a party at the hotel where Chimbalanga worked – an apparent first in Malawi.

“Maximum sentences are intended for use for worst cases,” Magistrate Nyakwawa Usiwa Usiwa said as he delivered his sentence.

The lawyer for the two, Mauya Msuku, said they would appeal.

Chimbalanga remained composed as armed police officers handcuffed him to Monjeza.

“I am not worried,” he told reporters as they were taken to a police vehicle.

Onlookers outside the court house shouted, “You got what you deserve!” and “Fourteen years is not enough.”

Michelle Kagari, deputy Africa director of Amnesty International called the sentence “an outrage.”