PC Harper’s mum ‘speaks out’ as petition to ‘overturn’ verdicts surpasses 133,000 signatures

THE mother of a police officer who was killed in the line of duty has reportedly said she is “utterly and bitterly disgusted with the outcome” of the murder trial of his three teenager killers.

PC Andrew Harper was killed after responding to reports of a burglary in West Berkshire, at about 11:30pm on August 15, 2019.

The 28-year-old Thames Valley Police officer was dragged to his death when his ankles became entangled in a tow rope attached to a car which dragged him more than a mile down country lanes near Sulhamstead.

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Three men who were in the vehicle that dragged PC Harper to his death were convicted of manslaughter last week (Friday, July 24).

They were Henry Long, aged 19, of College Piece in Mortimer, Albert Bowers, aged 18, of Windmill Corner in Mortimer Common, and Jessie Cole, aged 18, of Paices Hill Travellers Site in Aldermaston.

The teenage trio were convicted of manslaughter after being found not guilty of murder.

A petition hoping to ‘overturn a miscarriage of justice’ has since been created online and has been signed by 133,796 people at the time of writing.

One woman claiming to be PC Harper’s mother has also signed the petition and posted a comment.

The comment reportedly from Debbie Adlam said: “Andrew James Harper is my son.

“I am disgusted that he has been let down.

“When they crossed the junction on A4 there’s no way they did not know he was there being thrown against the pavements.”

She continued: “Utterly and bitterly disgusted with the outcome.

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“Andrew went to work to serve us all.

“And this is how he was repaid.”

The comments echo that of PC Harper’s widow Lissie Harper who spoke outside court on Friday and said she was “immensely disappointed with the verdict”.

She added: “I now have my own life sentence to bear, and believe me when I say it will be a much more painful, soul destroying and treacherous journey than anyone facing a meagre number of years in prison will experience.”

For the full statement click here.

The jury had deliberated for 12 hours and 22 minutes before delivering its verdicts on Friday, following a four-week trial at the Old Bailey in London.

Long, Bowers and Cole had already all pleaded guilty to another offence, conspiracy to steal a quadbike.

Thomas King, aged 21, of Strawberry Fields, Bramley, Hampshire, also previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal a quadbike. He was not directly involved in the incident which led to PC Harper’s death.

The four defendants will be sentenced at the same court on Friday, July 31.

Reading Chronicle