1. ITV Report

Man charged with death of Pc Andrew Harper has case against him dropped

Pc Andrew Harper was killed while on duty last month. Credit: Family handout/Thames Valley Police/PA

A man charged with the murder of Pc Andrew Harper has had the case against him dropped.

Last month, Jed Foster was charged with the 28-year-old's murder, following his death while on duty on August 15.

Newlywed Pc Harper was killed near the village of Sulhamstead in Berkshire when he was dragged under a van while responding to reports of a burglary.

He had got married just four weeks before his death.

He had been married to Lissie for just four weeks when he died.

Prosecutors at the Old Bailey on Thursday said there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction and moved to end the case against the 20-year-old.

Prosecutor Jonathan Polnay said: "From August 19 of this year the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) authorised that Jed Foster be charged with the murder of Pc Andrew Harper.

"A full file of evidence has been received from the police and fully reviewed.

"The CPS has concluded that the full code test is not met and there is not a realistic prospect of conviction.

"Proceedings against Mr Foster cannot and should not be continued."

Mr Polnay said that the prosecution was serving a discontinuance order in connection with Mr Foster.

Mrs Justice Whipple said: "The prosecution have served a notice of discontinuance of their case against you.

"That means that you are no longer to be detained in custody."

Andrew Harper married his wife Lissie just four weeks before his death. Credit: Family handout/Thames Valley Police/PA

The dropping of the charge comes after three teenagers appeared in court charged with Pc Harper's murder.

Henry Long, 18, from Mortimer in Reading, and two 17-year-old boys, who cannot be named because of their age, spoke only to confirm their name, date of birth and address during the eight-minute hearing at Reading Magistrates’ Court on Thursday morning.

They, along with Thomas King, 21, from Basingstoke, are also accused of conspiracy to steal a quad bike.

The three defendants charged with murder, who all wore T-shirts, were remanded in custody by District Judge Davinder Lachhar to appear at the Old Bailey later on Thursday for a preliminary hearing.

King, dressed in a green jacket, stood in the well of the court during proceedings and will also appear at the Old Bailey later.

No pleas were entered at the court, which saw a heavy police presence.

The defendants’ family and friends shouted “love you” as the three in custody were led away.