Hairdresser Hollie Gazzard murder: Ex-boyfriend jailed for life

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Media captionHairdresser murderer jailed for life

A man who stabbed his ex-girlfriend to death at the hairdressers where she worked has been jailed for life.

Asher Maslin, 22, admitted repeatedly knifing Hollie Gazzard, 20, at Fringe Benefits and La Bella Beauty salon in Gloucester in February.

She had ended her relationship with the former security guard just days before, Gloucester Crown Court heard.

The Honourable Mr Justice Teare said Maslin would serve a minimum of 24 years.

"The number of stab wounds on a defenceless young woman show that this was a merciless killing," he said.

Image caption Maslin (left) became violent after the couple moved to Gloucester

As he was taken down from the court, Maslin nodded to his weeping family and said: "Sorry."

His mother said in a statement, read out by the family solicitor outside court: "Asher cannot explain why he did what he did. All he can now do is express, through us, his deeply felt sorrow for the pain which he has caused to so many people."

The attack happened shortly before 18:00 GMT on 18 February as Miss Gazzard was nearing the end of her shift at work.

Maslin, of Benhall Gardens in Cheltenham, stabbed her 14 times in her neck, chest and torso and she died two hours later at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital as a result of massive blood loss.

Horrified colleagues and customers who were in the salon at the time had tried to help her but were warned off by Maslin.

The following day police officers recovered a knife that had been discarded at a building site near to the salon.

Gloucester Crown Court heard the couple met in February last year while working in a nightclub and they had lived in Edgware, north London, and later Watford before returning to Gloucester in July.

Stephen Mooney, prosecuting, told the court Maslin became violent towards her, grabbing her around the throat, hitting her and kicking her in separate incidents until Hollie ended the relationship in January.

Image copyright Gloucestershire Police
Image caption A knife was found discarded at a nearby building site

But when they separated Maslin's behaviour grew more threatening.

He stole money from her bank account and sent her text messages saying he was going to "smash your house up" and to call him or "dis bat is going to hit your dad's head," the court heard.

"It's following these threats that Hollie went to the police on February 16 and gave a statement," Mr Mooney said.

An Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation is continuing into the force's contact with Miss Gazzard before her death.

Two police officers and a call handler have been served with misconduct notices informing them their actions are under investigation, the IPCC said.

Associate commissioner Guido Liguori said: "Our investigation is progressing well and once concluded we hope it will answer the question of whether Gloucestershire Police could or should have been done more to protect her."

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