‘I left him for dead’ says thug

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IT was a chilling message that summed up the brutality and wickedness of the attack.

Boasting to his pals, Samuel Armstrong left a voicemail message to say he left Andrew Toseland ‘for dead’ and ‘killed his head’.

Samuel Armstrong, given a cutodial sentence for the attack on Andrew Toseland

Samuel Armstrong, given a cutodial sentence for the attack on Andrew Toseland

As Mr Toseland was in a nursing home yesterday, wounded for life after suffering horrific head injuries in the attack, Armstrong appeared before a judge at Portsmouth Crown Court to hear his fate.

Judge Sarah Munro QC sentenced him to five years and four months in a young offenders’ institution.

She described the attack on the 50-year-old warehouseman as ‘wicked and sickening’.

As reported, Mr Toseland and his brother Robert Toseland asked some rowdy teenagers to be quiet shortly after midnight on August 25 last year outside their mother’s flat in Garland Court, Forton Road, Gosport.

Armstrong had a skirmish with the Toseland brothers on the eighth floor and went downstairs to get help.

Judge Munro said the teenagers went upstairs to take their ‘revenge’, with the ‘sole intention of giving one of these men a beating’.

She said: ‘You delivered a flying kick and punch to Robert Toseland, hitting him in the chest. You then laid into his brother Andrew.

‘You punched him to the floor, you kicked him.

‘Then you stamped – not once, not twice, but between 10 and 15 times – on Mr Toseland’s head and face with great force.

‘Before long he was unconscious, but that did not stop you.’

The court heard Armstrong was ‘completely intoxicated’ after bingeing on lager, a litre of vodka, and taking Ecstasy.

He was captured running away after the attack with his shirt off.

His own blood was found at the scene by forensic investigators. The court heard Armstrong speaking on a voicemail message the day after the attack.

In it he said: ‘It was some old geezer.

‘I left him for dead. Some old man. I killed that bloke’s head.’

Judge Munro said: ‘You have deprived his family and friends of the man they love.

‘They will have the responsibility of caring for him for the rest of his life with professional assistance. He will never be able to lead a normal life. You took that away from him – for no better reason than he asked you and your friends to be quiet.

‘His injuries could not be more grave.’

Armstrong, 19, of Sherwood Road, Gosport, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent on Andrew Toseland and actual bodily harm on his brother Robert Toseland.

Mitigating for Armstrong, barrister Louisa Bagley said Armstrong, who has a low IQ, told his mum the next day and handed himself in to police.

He said he ‘blacked out’ during the attack and could barely remember it.

She said he felt remorse and unfortunately had joined a culture of ‘drinking heavily in a binge manner’.

‘He feels very responsible for Mr Toseland’s condition,’ said Miss Bagley.

‘There’s not a day goes by when he does not feel shame, guilt and remorse and wish he could the clock back in that evening to make things different.

‘He knows this is irreparable what he has done and the suffering it has caused to another family.’

But she said nothing could justify the savage attack, which she said was ‘completely unacceptable in any circumstances’.

Armstrong has 13 previous convictions for 19 offences, including battery, dishonesty and criminal damage.

Just two days before the attack, he appeared before magistrates for a shoplifting offence.

Wearing a striped polo shirt, he smiled to the public gallery when appeared in the dock, but did not say anything as he was led away.