Gosport attacker’s jail sentence is drastically lengthened

Samuel Armstrong
Samuel Armstrong
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A TEENAGER who assaulted a man leaving him with a severe brain injury in a ‘wicked’ offence has had his sentence increased at the Court Of Appeal.

Lady Justice Hallett, Mr Justice Hamblen and Judge James Goss QC today quashed the 64-month term in a young offenders’ institution handed to Samuel Armstrong.

Sentencing Armstrong to nine years in his absence, Lady Justice Hallett said he ‘committed a wicked offence with devastating consequences for the victim and the victim’s family.’

Armstrong, 19, was jailed at Portsmouth Crown Court on September 6 after admitting grievous bodily harm with intent over the horrific assault on Andrew Toseland in Gosport. He had stamped on 51-year-old Mr Toseland’s head up to 15 times while Brandon Fisher held his brother Robert back.

The attack came after the brothers asked a group of rowdy teenagers to be quiet outside their 79-year-old mother Nina’s Garland Court flat in Gosport shortly after midnight on August 25 last year.

Armstrong, who the court heard had been drinking and taking illegal drug ecstasy, had a skirmish with the brothers on the eighth floor of the flats in Forton Road and went to get help.

Mr Toseland suffered a severe brain injury and will need round-the-clock care for the rest of his life as a result of the attack.

He was induced into a coma following the attack and can now barely walk.

Mr Toseland now lives at Peartree House Rehabilitation Centre in Bitterne.

Solicitor General Oliver Heald QC MP who leads the Crown Prosecution Service in the Attorney General’s office, presenting the case, said: ‘The injuries caused to the principal victim in this case were of the utmost possible seriousness.

‘Until the night of August 25 last year Andrew Toseland had a happy and peaceful life, he looked after his elderly mother, he enjoyed the company of his twin sister Michelle and other siblings.

The Solicitor General added: ‘As a result of the attack on August 25 Andrew Toseland can no longer enjoy any of these simple pleasures.

‘He cannot speak, he cannot eat or drink, he cannot walk or even sit unaided.

‘He will require 24-hour care for the rest of his life.

‘The effect on him is obviously severe and the vast impact on his mother and the rest of his family has been devastating.’

As reported, Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage wrote to the Attorney General in September asking for the sentence to be looked at again.

She acted after speaking to Mr Toseland’s mother Nina who said the sentence was too light.

It came after a court heard how Armstrong, of Sherwood Road, Gosport, who has convictions for 19 previous offences, led the attack.

Brandon Fisher, 19, of Old Road, Gosport, later pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding on the basis that he played a subordinate role.

As reported, a Hampshire police sergeant is to face a misconduct meeting over the attack on Andrew Toseland.

It comes after a report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said the officer ‘did not sufficiently grasp the issues.’

The report said he ‘breached the standards of professional behaviour expected by inadequately supervising local officers.’

The IPCC has also recommended that Hampshire Constabulary reviews training provided and identify whether officers need further support.

The force accepted the report’s findings and has said it will update the IPCC when a misconduct meeting has been held.

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