Gosport thug who left man for dead will have jail term reviewed

JAIL Samuel Armstrong, 19, was handed 64 months after pleading guilty to GBH with intent
JAIL Samuel Armstrong, 19, was handed 64 months after pleading guilty to GBH with intent
Nathan Sedgewicke

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THE ‘unduly lenient’ prison sentence given to a teenager who inflicted horrific head injuries on a man could increase after being sent to the Court of Appeal.

Samuel Armstrong, 19, of Gosport, was sentenced in September to 64 months in a young offenders’ institute after he attacked Andrew Toseland, 50, at Garland Court, Forton Road, Gosport.

Now the Attorney General’s Office has referred the sentence to the Court of Appeal, where three judges will decide whether or not to increase the sentence.

As reported, Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage wrote to the Attorney General Dominic Grieve after speaking to Mr Toseland’s 79-year-old mother Nina, who said the sentence was too light.

The attack has left Mr Toseland in a nursing home, barely able to talk, suffering from short-term memory loss and unable to walk.

Ms Dinenage told The News: ‘It’s sending a message to people in society that this form of wicked, evil behaviour is not acceptable and will be punished.

‘It’s so utterly wrong to wreck another human’s life to this extent and effectively get away with it.

‘It is important that this sentence is looked at again, it does seem unnecessarily lenient.

‘I’m pleased that the Attorney General has taken this request seriously.’

A spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office said: ‘Having carefully reviewed this case, the Solicitor General Oliver Heald QC MP has decided to refer the sentence to the Court of Appeal for review.

‘The case will in due course be heard by three Court of Appeal judges who will decide whether or not to increase the sentence.’

In a letter to the MP, the Attorney General’s Office added: ‘It has been decided to refer the sentence to the Court of Appeal as being unduly lenient.’

As reported, Armstrong received his sentence on September 6 at Portsmouth Crown Court after previously pleading guilty to GBH with intent.

Shortly after midnight on August 25 last year Mr Toseland and his brother Robert had asked a group of teenagers outside his mother’s flat in Garland Court to be quiet.

Armstrong, of Sherwood Road, fought with the Toseland brothers on the eight floor and went downstairs to get help.

Brandon Fisher, 19, of Old Road, was jailed for 27 months after admitting unlawful wounding on the basis he had a subordinate role in the vicious attack.

According to the Sentencing Council GBH with intent carries a maximum of a life sentence.

JUDGE SAID VICIOUS ASSAULT WAS ‘WICKED AND SICKENING’

IT WAS a savage attack that left a man fighting for his life – a life that victim Andrew Toseland has barely reclaimed.

Judge Sarah Munro QC sentenced his attacker Samuel Armstrong to 64 months for the ‘wicked and sickening’ attack.

She told the court how Armstrong had ‘stamped – not once, not twice, but between 10 and 15 times – on Mr Toseland’s head and face with great force’.

And the court heard how Armstrong boasted to his friends about the attack in a voicemail message, saying he had left Mr Toseland ‘for dead’ and had ‘killed his head’.