Asher Maslin Court of Appeal: The result

Killer Asher Maslin has lost his appeal to have his minimum sentence reduced for murdering ex-girlfriend Hollie Gazzard.

Judges at the Court of Appeal in London upheld the decision that the 22-year-old would have to spend at least 24 years behind bars for the brutal attack on the pretty hairdresser.

Speaking after the case, Hollie’s dad Nick, said the thought of Maslin lodging a successful appeal was “almost too much to bear” and said the court had made the right decision.

Maslin pleaded guilty to stabbing Hollie to death while she worked at a Gloucester salon on February 18 and was given a mandatory life sentence for her murder.

He was told by a Judge Teare in July this year he would spend a minimum of 24 years behind bars before he would be considered for parole.

Christopher Quinlan QC, on behalf of Maslin, argued the minimum term should be reduced to 22 years because of his age, emotional health and guilty plea.

But Lord Thomas, the Lord Chief Justice dismissed the appeal at the Royal Courts of Justice.

He said: “We are entirely satisfied in all the circumstances of this case the judge was entitled to the minimum term in the way he did.

“There is no basis upon which it can be said to be manifestly excessive or wrong in principle.

“It reflected the serious culpability of the appellant and the brutal and premeditated nature of the killing.

“The appeal is therefore dismissed.”

On February 18, Maslin from Benhall in Cheltenham, traded in a DVD player at Cash Converters in the city and bought a knife.

He went to into Fringe Benefits and La Bella Beauty salon and stabbed Hollie from Churchdown 14 times in a frenzied attack.

Maslin spoke only to confirm his name and sat with his heads in his hands as details of Hollie’s injuries were read out during the appeal.

Hollie, 20, had split up with Maslin just days before and he was wanted by police as he had allegedly used her bank cards to withdraw £300.

Lord Thomas added she had been so terrified of him she had gone to the police and was contemplating an injunction against him.

He had been sending her vile text messages threatening her and her family and went on a booze and cocaine binge in the days leading up to her murder.

Her family, including dad Nick, mum Mandy and older sister Chloe, have since set up the Hollie Gazzard Trust, which aims to reduce and educate people about domestic violence, train hairdressers and put an end to knife crime in Gloucester.

Nick, a former Cheltenham Town footballer, speaking outside the court said: “On Tuesday, February 18 our lives were destroyed.

“Since that day a part of us has died and our lives will never be the same.

“These past months since Hollie’s death have been difficult for all of us and the idea of Maslin lodging a successful appeal against his sentence was almost too much to bear.

“The only justice for us is that Maslin spends the rest of his life in prison, as we will suffer for the rest of our lives without Hollie.

“In maintaining the minimum sentence of 24 years we believe the court has made the right decision.

“The appeal only increases our determination to campaign in Hollie’s name for statutory education for healthy relationship education in schools.

“This will help to teach young people about domestic abuse and other safeguarding issues so that they can spot the signs of an abusive partner before it is too late.”

He added the past two weeks had been stressful for the family and said it was the principle of the appeal that had upset them.

Maslin’s mum Samantha from Benhall, had been pleading with her son not to go ahead with the appeal.

Following the verdict, she said: “I am relieved and hope Hollie can now rest in peace. It is definitely the right decision.

“The appeal has bought everything up again, for both Hollie’s family and mine and the appeal was an insult.

“I have been doing everything to try and get him not to (go through with the appeal) and our relationship is over now.

“I do not think he has got the capacity to think about anyone but himself.”