Teenagers guilty of killing PC Andrew Harper

Three teenagers have been convicted of the manslaughter of PC Andrew Harper, who died after being dragged along a road by a car.PC Harper suffered catastrophic fatal injuries when his ankles got caught in a strap trailing behind a vehicle driven by Henry Long in August 2019.Long, 19, had earlier admitted manslaughter but was cleared of murder.

Albert Bowers and Jessie Cole, both 18, were cleared of murder but found guilty at the Old Bailey of manslaughter.Speaking outside court, PC Harper’s widow Lissie said she would feel “heart-wrenching pain” for the rest of her life over the “brutal and senseless killing”.She said she was “immensely disappointed” by the manslaughter verdicts and had been left “utterly shocked and appalled”.Following the convictions, it can now be revealed jurors in the trial had to be given special protection after police received intelligence associates of the killers had planned to intimidate them.

PC Harper was dragged for more than a mile along country lanes in Berkshire after he and a colleague responded to reports of a quad bike theft on 15 August, jurors heard.Their shift had officially ended four hours before.The 28-year-old newlywed became “lassoed” to the back of a Seat Toledo after he “unwittingly” stepped with both feet into the loop of a tow rope as he tried to apprehend one of the defendants.Prosecutors said the Abingdon-based roads policing officer was “swung from side to side like a pendulum” after Long sped off to escape the scene.The court heard the Seat travelled for more than a mile towards the A4 before PC Harper became detached and died in the road.

Jonathan Laidlaw QC previously told jurors the defendants had been prepared to use force “if met with resistance”.The trio had a large axe, three crowbars and a hammer and were “plainly determined to steal the quad bike” from a home near Stanford Dingley, Mr Laidlaw said.It was clear they were “intending, if met with resistance, that serious harm would be caused to commit the offence of theft or to secure their escape”, the court heard.During the trial, the prosecution said it had sought murder charges after alleging the defendants were aware the officer was being dragged behind the car.Defence lawyers claimed the incident was a “freak event” that no-one could have planned or foreseen

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