PC Harper's grieving widow launches campaign for full life jail terms for killers of emergency workers
PC ANDREW Harper's grieving widow has launched a campaign for full life jail terms for the killers of emergency services workers.
Lissie Harper is calling for Andrew's Law, which would mean people convicted of causing the death of police, fire or emergency medical workers would spend life in prison.
She said: "I pledge to my late husband to never stop until I have made the difference that this country clearly needs.
"I vow to stand strong and firm with so many other honourable people in our country to make the changes that we clearly know to be justified."
The campaign is being backed by the Police Federation of England and Wales, which represents thousands of officers up to the rank of chief inspector.
Three teenagers were convicted of manslaughter over his death, after he responded to a reported burglary.
They were found not guilty of murdering the police officer after the jury had deliberated for almost two days.
Henry Long, 19, Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers, both 18, hugged each other to the sound of their cheering families as the verdict of not guilty to murder was read out in court.
Bowers and Cole were instead convicted of the lesser charge of manslaughter – which Long had previously admitted.
Long, who was driving the car when the Thames Valley Police officer was dragged to his death while responding to a quad bike theft on August 15, was caged for 16 years.
I pledge to my late husband to never stop until I have made the difference that this country clearly needs.
Bowers and Cole were handed 13 years in prison and banned from driving for two years.
But Attorney General Suella Braverman will now look into whether the jail time handed down was too lenient after a request to review the case.
Lissie added: "As a widow of a police officer – a title in which I would give everything to not have – I have witnessed first-hand the lenient and insufficient way in which the justice system deals with criminals who take the lives of our emergency workers.
“I have grown close to our under-appreciated protectors ever more since the death of Andrew, I have been enveloped in love and support from not only the police and other emergency workers but so many of the general public too who I know fully support my feelings over the verdict and sentences in which Andrew’s killers have received.
“The people responsible for wreaking utter despair and grief in all of our lives will spend an inadequate amount of time behind bars.
"These men who showed no remorse, no guilt or sorrow for taking such an innocent and heroic life away will find themselves able to live out the rest of their lives free and able to commit more crimes and continue to put people in danger when they are released in a very small number of years.”
It came after the court heard a car driven by Long at "breakneck speed" swung PC Andrew Harper "like a pendulum" along a country lane on August 15, 2019.
PC Harper was in the process of apprehending the teen gang during a botched robbery near Reading, Berks.
The jury came back with the verdict after deliberating for two days, which left his tearful widow Lissie in tears.
Jurors were told how the traveller teens had tried to steal the £10,000 bike from the home of Peter Wallis in remote Bradfield Southend, when they were apprehended by PC Harper.
The gang had cased the property earlier in the day and later returned masked and armed with an axe, crowbars and a length of pipe to use against anyone in their way.
More to follow…
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