Solicitor General says Gosport attack was one of worst cases of violence he had dealt with

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THE Solicitor General said of the attack on Andrew Toseland: ‘This is one of the worst cases of violence that I have ever come across.

Oliver Heald QC MP referred the sentencing of Samuel Armstrong to the Court of Appeal as ‘unduly lenient.’

The Solicitor General Oliver Heald outside the High Court today

The Solicitor General Oliver Heald outside the High Court today

Armstrong, 19, of Sherwood Road, Gosport, was jailed for five years and four months in September after admitting grievous bodily harm with intent.

Mr Toseland, 51, suffered a severe brain injury and will need lifelong 24-hour care as a result of the attack at Garland Court, Forton Road, Gosport, on August 25 last year.

Now Lady Justice Hallett, Lord Justice Hamblen and Judge James Goss QC have quashed the sentence and jailed Armstrong for nine years in his absence at the Court of Appeal.

Speaking to The News after the hearing, which he presented, the Solicitor General said: ‘This was a drink and drug-fuelled attack on a middle aged man who had a job and a life, and now he has had these very grave injuries which mean he needs 24-hour care and he is very vulnerable.’

He added: ‘I felt a sentence of 64 months wasn’t enough.’

‘The Court of Appeal have agreed and I think the public will be reassured by that.’

He said of Armstrong’s nine-year sentence: ‘It is what we were hoping to achieve today and it’s important for other cases that there should be a higher level set.

‘These cases are tough for judges.

The Solicitor General added: ‘I refer about 100 cases a year. This is one of the worst cases of violence that I have ever come across.’