Teenagers jailed for killing Pc Andrew Harper
Three teenagers found guilty of the manslaughter of Pc Andrew Harper have been jailed.
Getaway driver Henry Long, 19, was jailed for 16 years at the Old Bailey for manslaughter over the death of Pc Harper, who was killed in the line of duty in Berkshire last August.
Long’s passengers Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers, both 18, were each handed 13-year sentences for manslaughter over their roles in Pc Harper’s death.
The Thames Valley Police officer had been reporting to an attempted burglary of a quad bike in Sulhamstead on 15 August 2019.
The 28-year-old newlywed became entangled in a tow rope attached to the trio's Seat Toledo as he tried to apprehend them. Long drove off at speed, dragging the Thames Valley Police officer for more than a mile along country lanes before he was dislodged, having suffered horrific injuries.
The teenagers admitted plotting the theft and Long pleaded guilty to manslaughter but each denied knowing that Pc Harper was there.
Following a trial at the Old Bailey, Long, Bowers and Cole were acquitted of murder and were instead found guilty of manslaughter.
At the sentencing on Friday (31 July), Pc Harper's widow, Lissie Harper, delivered her victim impact statement.
She said: "My husband was brutally killed four weeks after our wedding day. Should I speak again of how we were robbed of our future or the plans stolen from us? Four weeks was all I had with my husband - four weeks to be called his wife. My life often feels bleak, hopeless, irreparable. Every aspect of my life since Andrew was taken is bitterly different."
"Not only did these men take this man from me, they took our future too. They took more than one life away that day, they stole the person I used to be. Every ounce of beautiful peace gone."
Andrew's sister Aimee Harper also spoke in court, saying: "I never imagined that in my lifetime I would have to face such raw darkness, just knowing the bare minimum of details about my brother’s death has been enough to haunt my dreams and make me constantly afraid for my family. I don’t think that it’s something I will ever recover from."
In his sentencing remarks, the judge, Mr Justice Edis, said: "Manslaughter cases range greatly in seriousness. Sometimes death may be caused by an act of gross carelessness, sometimes it is very close to a case of murder in its seriousness. That is so, here."
The judge described the killers as "young, unintelligent but professional criminals".