Asher Maslin could have been arrested day before murder

Killer Asher Maslin could have been arrested the day before Hollie Gazzard’s death.

Police pursued Hollie’s report that Maslin had stolen her bank card and withdrawn £300 from her account and two attempts were made to arrest him on February 16 and February 17 last year. They were unsuccessful but were given alternative addresses where it was thought he might be.

However, police never visited them.

The next day, Maslin sold his DVD player to buy a knife and stabbed Hollie to death at her workplace at Fringe Benefits and La Bella Beauty salon.

 A report into the police handling of the case by The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has found that important information about Maslin’s violent nature was known to police in the days leading up to Hollie’s death.

Gloucestershire Constabulary were first alerted to a domestic incident between Hollie and Maslin on July 20, 2013 when they were on a night out together in Gloucester.

Following a verbal argument, CCTV footage showed Maslin with his hands around her throat outside GL1 leisure centre.

On that occasion, Hollie did not pursue a complaint and no further action was taken against Maslin.

However, the attending police officer completed a Domestic Abuse Stalking and Harassment form and assessed Hollie as at ‘standard’ risk.

Police were not alerted to any further domestic incidents until February 15, 2014 when Hollie called 999 to report the theft of her debit card.

A recording of the call shows Hollie informed the call handler that she had been trying to end the relationship for some time and that Maslin had not been accepting of this.

Hollie also stated that Maslin had previously threatened to beat her up and throw acid in her face, and he had made threats against her family.

A comparison of the phone call and subsequent incident log indicates the call handler failed to record a number of points including that Maslin had threatened to kill himself, was becoming abusive, was constantly ringing and texting Hollie, and that he had threatened to destroy her life the way she had destroyed his.

The report also reveals that police intelligence held on Maslin indicated he posed a number of risks, including being high risk for domestic abuse against another woman and was suicidal.

A warning marker was added to the incident log but officers would not have had additional information on why he was high risk.

Two officers visited Hollie later that day and she was interviewed in front of her parents.

Her father Nick initiated a conversation about preventing Maslin from seeing Hollie and the officers discussed the option of a restraining order.

Hollie was given some time to decide whether to pursue a complaint and she made a formal statement the following day about the theft as well as a number of historic domestic abuse incidents involving Maslin which had not previously come to the attention of the police.

It included Maslin grabbing Hollie by the throat while at Notting Hill Carnival in August 2013 and kicking her in January 2014.

The officer was also made aware that Maslin had sent texts threatening to damage her property and to inflict injury on her father with a baseball bat.

The officers made two attempts to arrest Maslin at his mother’s address, once on February 16 and again on February 17.

The officers were provided with two potential alternative addresses when they spoke with his mother, but never followed them up.

Hollie died on February 18.