The Attorney General should review lenient jail sentence

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All Andrew Toseland did was ask rowdy teenagers to be quiet late at night outside his mother’s flat in Gosport.

It was a decision that was to leave him with life-changing injuries and, at the age of just 50, in a nursing home.

His mother, Nina, says he can’t walk, can barely speak and suffers from short-term memory loss. He needs 24-hour care.

Yet 19-year-old Samuel Armstrong was sentenced to just five years and four months in a young offenders’ institution after he pleaded guilty to GBH with intent.

In reality, he won’t even serve that long. Parole rules mean he could be free well before then.

Meanwhile Mr Toseland will always have to carry the mental and physical scars of that fateful night.

No wonder Mrs Toseland feels that the punishment doesn’t fit the crime.

We agree with her and support her call for the sentence to now be the subject of a review by the Attorney General.

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has written to Dominic Grieve asking for a judicial review and we believe there are definitely grounds for him look at re-sentencing Armstrong.

GBH, which carries a maximum sentence of life, is one of the crimes where a review can be requested.

And we think that is entirely appropriate in this case.

We understand that the judge will have reached a decision only after considering prosecution evidence, reading a victim impact statement and taking into account any mitigating circumstances.

But in this instance we believe that process has led to a lenient sentence.

As Mrs Toseland said: ‘Everyone should have seen what Andrew is like now.’

Armstrong’s violent actions have changed Mr Toseland’s life forever.

Indeed, the attack was so bad and the head injuries he suffered so serious that he was not originally expected to survive.

When you stop to consider that, five years and four months just doesn’t seem long enough.