Gloucestershire

Hollie Gazzard killer violent against women report says

Hollie Gazzard Image copyright PA
Image caption An independent report found Hollie's murder at the hands of her ex-boyfriend could not have been predicted

A man who stabbed his ex-girlfriend to death at the hairdressers where she worked, had a long history of violence against women, an inquiry has found.

Hollie Gazzard, 20, was killed by Asher Maslin in Gloucester in February 2014.

A review found he had been involved in 24 separate violent incidents involving Hollie, two more previous girlfriends, his mother and other people.

It concluded if any one agency had been given all the evidence it would have been foreseeable he would kill.

'Catalogue of errors'

Hollie was killed three days after she had reported Maslin to Gloucestershire Police for the theft of her bank card and money from her account.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment in July 2014 and ordered to serve a minimum of 24 years behind bars.

In the six years before her death, Maslin - a former security guard - was arrested 23 times for a variety of offences, including domestic violence, criminal damage, possession of Class A drugs and theft.

The report, commissioned by Tewkesbury Borough Community Safety Partnership, discovered many of his victims had refused to press charges against him, which may have masked the scale of his crimes.

Nick Gazzard, Hollie's father, said: "Twenty-three arrests over a period of six years with increasing seriousness - that tells you something.

"There was lots of information known to different agencies and when you pull that all together it gives you a massive picture of what this individual was like and with all that, Hollie's death was preventable.

"There were two previous partners who were frightened and abused by him but didn't want to come forward, like Hollie."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Maslin was sentenced to life imprisonment

Police criticised

Police were aware of three incidents involving Hollie and Maslin.

One of them involved CCTV footage of him grabbing her around the neck, but she refused to make a complaint.

The third and final time was just days before she was killed.

The review has called for legal guidance on whether Clare's Law can be used by specialist support groups so women can find out if their partner has a history of domestic violence.

It has also recommended that police improve how they assess risk and share information with partner agencies.

In May, the police watchdog criticised Gloucestershire Police for their handling of the case.


BBC Points West reporter Charlotte Callen:

Hollie's father Nick Gazzard told me in order to prevent other young women from abusive partners we need to get much better at identifying warning signs and intervening early to prevent domestic abuse.

Crucially, he said we need to get better at supporting victims so they can report violence.

He said things had improved in the 18 months since Hollie's death but still more needed to be done.

Gloucestershire Police told me they have retrained staff since Hollie's death and they now share information about high risk offenders on a daily basis.


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