‘He’s very sorry’ – family speaks out after attack

Police at the scene of the attempted murder in Middle Street, Portsmouth

Students left concerned after 20-year-old man suffers ‘serious injuries’

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RELATIVES of a teenager jailed for his part in a brutal attack have spoken of their sorrow over the devastating impact it has had on the victim.

Andrew Toseland, 50, will require 24-hour care for the rest of his life, cannot walk and can barely speak.

Brandon Fisher

Brandon Fisher

His only wish was for a group of rowdy teenagers to quieten down outside his mum’s flat at Garland Court, in Forton Road, Gosport.

Yesterday Brandon Fisher, 19, was sentenced to 27 months in a young offenders’ institution after admitting unlawful wounding on the basis he had a subordinate role in the vicious attack on the warehouseman.

Samuel Armstrong, 19, from Gosport, has admitted playing the leading role in assaulting Andrew Toseland, as well as his brother Robert Toseland, on August 25 last year. He is due to be sentenced on Friday.

Fighting back tears, Fisher’s mum Jean Fisher, 54, of Old Road, Gosport, said the family and Brandon were ‘devastated’ about the consequences of the attack on Mr Toseland, who now lives in a nursing home.

His brother Aaron Fisher, 34, told The News: ‘He’s very sorry. He has not spoken about it much, and for him not to do that, it’s upset him.’

The family attended Portsmouth Crown Court where Judge Sarah Munro QC concluded that Fisher, who had been to a party in the block of flats, played some role in the severity of the attack on Mr Toseland, despite never throwing a punch.

She said: ‘Armstong punched Andrew to the floor and kicked and stamped on his head repeatedly while he lay there unconscious.

‘Meanwhile you were grappling with Robert Toseland. You accept that in holding Robert Toseland back you prevented him from helping his brother and stopping the attack upon Andrew.’

However, the court was read a statement from an independent witness in the case.

She said she heard Fisher shout ‘stop’ when he realised the severity of the attack.

Judge Munro told Fisher: ‘I accept that it was never your intention that Mr Toseland should suffer anything like the injuries which in fact he did.’

Judge Munro described Mr Toseland’s injuries as ‘hideous’ and said only a custodial sentence would suffice.

But Fisher’s mum Jean disagreed with the harshness of the sentence.

‘If he had a history of violence you could understand it,’ she said. ‘I’m still in shock.’

The teenager was described by his family as a hard-worker, never missing a day at his job in a factory. In July he got engaged to Shanice Stevens, a 17-year-old waitress.

She said: ‘He should have got something for it, but not that.’

Aaron added: ‘For a moment’s madness, his life has changed now.’

Mr Toseland’s mother Nina, 78, told The News: ‘It’s nice to think they feel remorse because a lot of these families don’t.’

But she said her son was serving his own ‘life sentence’ by being disabled.

Mr Toseland was left in a vegetative state for two months after the attack.

When Samuel Armstrong had stopped his onslaught, Mr Toseland was found with fragments of glass from his spectacles over his face and eyes. A blood clot was later found on his brain.

Judge Monro said: ‘The effect upon him is to take away the rest of his life in any meaningful way.’

A third teenager involved in the case, who is 17 and cannot be named for legal reasons, is not being prosecuted due to lack of evidence.