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PC Andrew Harper: Emergency worker killers 'should get full life sentence'

PC Andrew Harper: Emergency worker killers 'should get full life sentence'

PC Andrew Harper's wedding took place four weeks before he was killed
The widow of PC Andrew Harper has called for killers of emergency service workers to "spend the rest of their lives in jail".Lissie Harper has launched a campaign with the Police Federation for "Andrew's Law" after her husband was killed on duty in Berkshire.PC Harper, 28, died when he was dragged for more than a mile along a road by a getaway car in August 2019. His killers were sentenced last Friday after being convicted of manslaughter.Driver Henry Long was jailed for 16 years, while his accomplices Albert Bowers and Jessie Cole were sentenced to 13 years each.
In a statement, Mrs Harper said she hoped a change in the law would allow people to "get the justice that they rightly deserve".She vowed to fight in memory of her late husband "so that anyone killing a police officer, firefighter, nurse, doctor or paramedic is jailed for life".
Lissie Harper has vowed to "fight for a change in the law in memory of her late husband".
Newlywed PC Harper, from Wallingford in Oxfordshire, died after his feet got caught in a tow strap trialling behind a getaway car that had been used to pull a stolen quad bike near Stanford Dingley.Long, 19, Bowers and Cole, both 18, were convicted of manslaughter but cleared of murder following a trial at the Old Bailey.The maximum sentence a judge can impose for manslaughter is life imprisonment but they must specify a minimum term to be served. Mr Justice Edis said each of the sentences for PC Harper's killers had to reflect "the seriousness of this case".He said: "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 added the teenagers were "young, unintelligent but professional criminals".Mrs Harper, who last week wrote to the prime minister to ask for a retrial, has called on the "British public and politicians of all parties" to back her campaign. The Attorney General's Office said on Tuesday it had been asked to review the sentences given to the killers after claims they are too lenient. Its officers have 28 days from sentencing to review the case.
PC Harper married his childhood sweetheart Lissie four weeks before his death
Mrs Harper said she had "witnessed first-hand the lenient and insufficient way in which the justice system deals with criminals who take the lives of our emergency workers". "The people responsible for wreaking utter despair and grief in all of our lives will spend an inadequate amount of time behind bars," she said."These men who showed no remorse, no guilt or sorrow for taking such an innocent and heroic life away."John Apter, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said he fully supported Mrs Harper in her campaign to change the law."The killing of a police officer should see those responsible face the rest of their lives in prison," he said.Mrs Harper said her "wish" was to ensure "any widows of the future will not have to experience the same miscarriages of justice"."Let us finally put in place laws which we can actually be proud of, let us do something about the injustices of our systems that cause so much heartache and utter outrage from us all," she said.
Jessie Cole, Henry Long and Albert Bowers (L-R) were convicted of killing PC Harper
Long, from Mortimer, Reading, pleaded guilty to manslaughter but denied murder, saying he did not know PC Harper was attached to the vehicle. He was given a reduction on his sentence because he pleaded guilty and must serve a minimum of 10 years and eight months in jail.Bowers, of Moat Close, Bramley, and Cole, of Paices Hill near Reading, admitted they were passengers, but denied ever seeing the police officer.
Thames Valley Police
Wallingford
PC Andrew Harper death retrial
Law and order
Attorney General
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