PC Harper’s heartbroken widow arrives at court to see teen thugs jailed

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PC Andrew Harper’s heartbroken widow has arrived at court ahead of his three teen killers being jailed – as fury mounts over their manslaughter verdict.

Albert Bowers, 18, along with 19-year-old Henry Long and Jessie Cole, also 18, were last week cleared of murder to the slain cop’s family’s dismay.

They are instead facing a shorter prison term when they are sentenced today after being convicted of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

A fourth defendant, Thomas King, 21, is also due to be sentenced today after he admitted conspiracy to steal a quad bike.

PC Harper’s devastated wife Lissie was today driven into the Old Bailey to see her childhood sweetheart’s killers banged up.

Mr Justice Edis today took the unusual step of addressing the court about the verdicts, which he said had “caused some controversy”.

The judge also said there was “no truth” in rumours the jury had been intimidated after security was ramped up when police received information “associates of the defendants planned to follow” the panel.

PC Harper, 28, and Lissie been planning their honeymoon together when he was dragged to his death while responding to a quad bike theft four hours after his shift on August 15.

Lissie, who wed PC Harper in a stunning ceremony just four weeks before his brutal death, wept as the verdict was given last week.

She bravely read a heartfelt statement outside the court describing how she has her “own life sentence”.

And she described her husband as “selfless, beautiful and heroic” and called his killers “senseless, barbaric and brutal”.

Mrs Harper said: “In all honesty I am for the second time in the space of one year utterly shocked and appalled.

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

She has since written an open letter to Boris Johnson, Home Secretary Priti Patel and former Labour Home Secretary Lord (David) Blunkett urging them and others “to right such a despicable wrong for our country”.

PC Harper’s devastated mum has also spoken out against the manslaughter verdicts – branding it a “miscarriage of justice”.

Debbie Adlam said she was “utterly and bitterly disgusted with the outcome” of the trial which “let down” her son.

She has joined thousands of others who have signed a petition calling on the authorities to overturn the decision.

Long, Bowers and Cole had watched the verdict via videolink amid cheers from their families after the jury had deliberated for almost two days.

It came after jurors heard a car driven by Long at “breakneck speed” swung PC Harper “like a pendulum” along a country lane as he responded to a burglary near Reading, Berks.

The masked teens, who have a long list of previous convictions, had tried to steal a £10,000 bike armed with an axe, crowbars and a length of pipe when they were apprehended by PC Harper.

As the cop got out of his unmarked BMW police car, Cole unhitched the bike and made a bid for freedom through the passenger window.

But tragically, PC Harper’s ankles became tangled in the two rope attached to the teens’ getaway car as they sped off.

The hero cop was dragged along the country lane at speeds of up to 60mph leaving him with horrific injuries.

His heartless killers smirked and dozed off in court as the gruesome catalogue of wounds was read to the court.

Jurors were told PC Harper would have been knocked unconscious almost immediately and was therefore unable to free himself.

He had been stripped completely naked – including his stab vest being ripped off – except from his socks after being dragged for more than a mile by the thugs.

Dear Boris Johnson, Priti Patel, David Blunkett and any other person in which has the power, moral value and sheer strength of character to right such a dispicable wrong for our country…

I am sure you are acutely aware of the details of the recent trial for the conviction of my late husband PC Andrew Harper’s killers.

Not only was this the second of two trials as the first one eventually had to be cancelled due to Covid-19, but it was also an utter injustice. Not only were the three remorseless men found Not-guilty by a possibly influenced jury of 11, but the way in which the trial was conducted, the suspected interference with the jury and the manner in which the defendants behaved was a total disregard for any legal justice system.

Myself among what appears to be almost the whole country are frankly outraged and determined to have this miscarriage of justice overturned. After the worst possible year any person can face I am immensely drained and devastated, More to the point I am not even sure if there is realistically anything that can be achieved by this letter.

However what I will say is that if there is even the slightest chance that this abominable injustice can be rectified then I will do everything I possibly can to ensure that it is. Not only was my husband brutally killed in the most savage and cruel way but he was also an on duty devoted police officer coming to the aid of an innocent member of the public whilst the defendants attempted to commit crimes as they admit without guilt that they do as a lifestyle.

There are many, many details in which made this recent trial atrociously below board including the fact that one member of the jury was dismissed well into the trial due to being over friendly with the defendants as well as their families, in addition to making inappropriate comments to the defendants in court in which was witnessed by members of the prison service.

On top of this following the first trial it was suspected that there could be jury interference and was therefore necessary for the jury to be given special protection by the police after detectives had intel to suggest that family of the defendants were making plans to intimidate them. This alone in our eyes should be enough grounds for a retrial.

Further to this there had been moments in which the jury seemed to be behaving questionably, for example smiling up at the defendants families, as well as being seen to run out of court very quickly during lunch breaks possibly in order to avoid the swarms of traveller families camped out outside the court.

Believe me, I could go on and on about all of the aspects of this case that quite frankly have not been considered. It is important to note that the Police and detectives had left no stone unturned in order to provide a wealth of evidence against the defendants to show how culpable they are for the murder of my husband. The prosecution barristers made our case spectacularly and with clarity, dignified in the truth.

On the other side of things laid barely a defence whatsoever. Even the reconstruction in which to so many showed clearly that at least Henry Long would have known that he was dragging a heavy person behind his car played heavily to a conviction of murder. The jury by all accounts had a very clear journey to follow, a story of indisputable facts and detail was right there in front of them for all to see.

These are the reasons that leave the entire country shocked and mystified as to how this could have possibly been a trial of honest and equitable decision.The horrific details of the way in which my husband was killed need no repetition, once heard leave a devastating imprint on the minds of anyone who hears them.

So for those who have sat day after day seeing footage and photos more horrifying than any they had probably ever had the misfortune of seeing before, for those who have sat whilst coroners divulge the senseless and heartbreaking injuries that Andrew received that night back in August, how is it at all possible to come to any conclusion other than a guilty verdict of murder?

I am very aware that myself and our families are of course biased, we will always know the truth, and in honesty if this had been a fair trial I may have been more inclined to leave it be and try to accept the verdict that has been reached. However along with the whole world it seems to me, we can all see as plain as day that it clearly has not been a fair trial whatsoever.

So whomever it may be that I must speak to, whoever the correct person, establishment or government body that has the power to help me to claim justice for an innocent man robbed of his life, to ensure that these three immoral, barbaric and shameless men are made to pay for their crimes, not only for Andrew but also for our whole country.

I will keep fighting on behalf of Andrew, the future that was stolen from us and also the victims who find themselves in this unjustly situation in the future. After all, who are we if we allow our legal system to fail us? What is this country if it does not provide justice for the innocent? What does it say to the public and the Police officers, old and new if every day they go out and put themselves at risk to detain these criminals just to witness them be treated so exceptionally lightly in the eyes of the law?

It says that we are weak, that we will roll over to the despicable thieves and vile miscreants of this world and literally let them get away with murder.In total honesty I could write and write until my fingers hurt, I could pour my heart further into this letter, I could scream and shout and stand with fierce determination in the eyes of opposition over this crucial matter.

After all what else can I do for my husband now? My heart bleeds for the life that was so selfishly taken from us, but yet in arduous restraint I will not go on any further.

So I implore you to hear my words, see the facts that are laid out before us, and I ask with no expectations other than hope that you might help me to make these changes be considered, to ensure that Andrew is given the retrial that he unquestionably deserves and to see that the justice system in our country is the solid ethical foundation that it rightly should be.

Not the joke that so many of us now view it to be. Please feel able to share my letter far and wide to whomever you see to be appropriate and impactful.

Horrified colleagues said he was “barely alive” when they came across him but the officer couldn’t be saved and tragically died a short time later at the scene.

Long initially denied involvement in the incident and told police in a prepared statement that he had been watching The Goonies and Fast And Furious DVDs.

Later, on September 18, when Long was charged with murder and conspiracy to steal, he said: “I don’t give a f*** about any of this.”

But during the trial Long finally admitted he had killed the police officer and said it made him feel “disgraceful”.

Mr Justice Edis then ordered extra security measures for the retrial amid fears of potential juror intimidation by supporters of the defendants.

One female juror was discharged just a day before the remaining 11 started deliberating on their verdicts after she was seen mouthing “Bye boys” to the teens in the dock.

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News – PC Harper’s heartbroken widow arrives at court to see teen thugs jailed

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