Solicitor General says sentencing of Gosport attacker was a ‘gross error’

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THE Solicitor General has described a judge’s sentencing of a Gosport man who left his victim in need of constant care as a ‘gross error’.

Oliver Heald MP, who heads the Crown Prosecution Service in the Attorney General’s office, told The News he referred the sentencing of Samuel Armstrong to the Court of Appeal because he believes it is ‘unduly lenient’.

The Solicitor General, Oliver Heald

The Solicitor General, Oliver Heald

Armstrong, 19, was handed a 64-month term in a young offenders’ institution after subjecting 50-year-old Andrew Toseland to a prolonged attack on August 25 last year outside his mother’s flat in Forton Road, Gosport, where he had been staying.

On a visit to Portsmouth CPS today, Mr Heald said: ‘The point about it is that we can only refer the case to the Court of Appeal if it is outside the sentencing guidelines. I happen to believe it was a gross error. I do feel great sympathy for the victim.’