PC Andrew Harper's Killers Have Been Sentenced
The three teenagers that killed PC Andrew Harper in August last year have been sentenced to a total of 42 years.
Henry Long, 19, has been jailed for 16 years after he was acquitted of murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter. He has been given a 25 percent reduction for his plea.
Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers, both 18, were also acquitted of murder but found guilty of manslaughter following a trial at the Old Bailey. They have been sentenced to 13 years each.
Sentencing judge, Mr Justice Edis told the court: "Sometimes a case of manslaughter may be very similar to a case of murder. That is so here."
Thomas King, aged 21, also previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal a quad bike. He was not directly involved in the incident which led to PC Harper's death and has been jailed for two years.
PC Harper, 28, was killed in the line of duty while attending reports of a stolen quad bike at about 11.30pm on 15 August 2019, close to the A4 Bath Road near Sulhamstead, in Berkshire.
PC Harper went to the property with his colleague PC Andrew Shaw. It was four hours after his shift was due to finish, though the pair were in the area so wanted to help.
When the officers found the thieves, 28-year-old PC Harper got out of the vehicle to chase them moments before his foot became caught in a tow rope (that was initially pulling the quad bike).
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Tragically, he was dragged for more than a mile and died at the scene.
PC Harper had only been married for a month to his wife Lissie Harper, when he was tragically killed.
Following the verdicts in court, she shared an open letter to the Prime Minister, Home Secretary Priti Patel and Lord Blunkett, in which she urged them to consider a retrial.
In a lengthy post, that you can read in full here, heart-broken Lissie wrote: "In total honesty I could write and write until my fingers hurt, I could pour my heart further into this letter, I could scream and shout and stand with fierce determination in the eyes of opposition over this crucial matter.
"After all what else can I do for my husband now? My heart bleeds for the life that was so selfishly taken from us, but yet in arduous restraint I will not go on any further."
She went on: "I implore you to hear my words, see the facts that are laid out before us, and I ask with no expectations other than hope that you might help me to make these changes be considered, to ensure that Andrew is given the retrial that he unquestionably deserves and to see that the justice system in our country is the solid ethical foundation that it rightly should be.
"Not the joke that so many of us now view it to be."
Featured Image Credit: PA