Ged Walker: Wife of Nottinghamshire police officer killed on duty backs new tough law

ITV News Central Political Correspondent Alison Mackenzie speaks to the wife of police officer Ged Walker who was killed in the line of duty

The wife of a police officer, who was killed while trying to stop a car thief 18 years ago, has welcomed a new tough law for people who kill emergency workers. 

Tracey Walker, whose husband Ged Walker was killed while on duty for Nottinghamshire Police, told ITV Central the current law does not help families or victims to achieve justice.

She said that a change in the law is long overdue. 

She told ITV Central: "I thought the law would protect people, and it doesn't - it doesn't protect people."

"You think you're going to get a sentence that's a justifiable sentence and you go there and you're told it's the best that can be expected," Ms Walker added.

Ms Walker said: "They come out and the solicitors are all pleased with what they've got. And you think oh 13 years that's good.

"But in actual fact the process of them coming out starts in eight years."

Her comments come as the man convicted for the manslaughter of her husband received a 13 year sentence and was released early. 

Pc Ged Walker died in 2003 when he was dragged 100 yards and killed as he tried to take the keys from the ignition of the car in Bulwell, Nottinghamshire.

His widow Ms Walker had previously welcomed a campaign for mandatory life sentences launched by Lissie Harper, whose husband Pc Andrew Harper died in similar circumstances.

The driver David Parfitt was convicted of Pc Walker’s manslaughter and sentenced to 13 years in prison and he was later jailed again for other crimes.

On Wednesday, the government announced offenders who kill an emergency services worker while committing crime will be given mandatory life jail sentences.

The so-called Harper’s Law is expected to make it on to the statute books in an amendment to the existing Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, meaning it is likely to get Royal Assent and become law early next year.

Mrs Harper said: "It’s been a long journey and a lot of hard work. I know Andrew would be proud to see Harper’s Law reach this important milestone."

Pc Harper, 28, died from his injuries when he was caught in a strap attached to the back of a car and dragged down a winding country road as the trio fled the scene of a quad bike theft in Sulhamstead, Berkshire, on the night of August 15 2019.

Henry Long, 19, was sentenced to 16 years and 18-year-olds Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers were handed 13 years in custody over the manslaughter of the Thames Valley Police traffic officer.

Long, the leader of the group, admitted manslaughter, while passengers Cole and Bowers were convicted of manslaughter after a trial at the Old Bailey.

All three were cleared of murder by the jury.

The sentences prompted Mrs Harper to lobby the Government to better protect emergency services workers on the front line.

Announcing the intended law change, Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said: "We are going to pass into law mandatory life sentences for those who unlawfully kill an emergency worker in the course of their duty.

"I pay tribute to Lissie Harper’s remarkable campaign.

"This Government is on the side of victims and their families and we want our emergency services to know that we’ll always have their back."

Mr Raab said the law will not be retrospective, meaning Pc Harper’s killers cannot have their sentences extended. The Court of Appeal previously rejected a bid by the Attorney General to increase their sentences.