Who killed PC Andrew Harper and what was their sentence?
THREE teenagers were convicted of manslaughter over the death of hero copper Andrew Harper who was killed on August 15, 2019 after he responded to a reported burglary.
The thugs were found not guilty of murdering the officer after the jury had deliberated for almost two days.
Who were the teenagers convicted of manslaughter?
Henry Long, 19, Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers, both 18, hugged each other to the sound of their cheering families as the verdicts were read out.
Bowers and Cole were instead convicted of the lesser charge of manslaughter – which Long had previously admitted.
It came after the court heard a car driven by Long at "breakneck speed" swung PC Harper "like a pendulum" along a country lane, as he apprehended the teen gang during a botched robbery near Reading, Berks.
Mr Justice Edis adjourned sentence until next Friday.
What happened to Pc Andrew Harper?
PC Andrew Harper, a rapid response officer with the force’s roads and traffic command, attended a suspected burglary with a colleague in a marked car at 11.30pm on Thursday, August 15 2019.
He had just left his vehicle when he was struck by a car at a country crossroads, close to Sulhamstead and the A4 Bath Road between Reading and Newbury.
He fell beneath the vehicle and was allegedly dragged a “considerable” distance.
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.
They disabled their SEAT Toledo’s rear lights and taped over the number plate but were seen by Mr Wallis taking the Honda TRX500 quad bike and roping its handlebars to the back of the car.
But PC Harper and his colleagues came across the gang driving towards them on narrow Admoor Lane.
Cole unhitched the bike and dived through a passenger window to escape the hero cop who had got out of the unmarked BMW police car.
PC Harper’s ankles got caught in a tow rope attached to the suspects' getaway car.
He was dragged along the stretch of road at 60mph by the SEAT in horrendous circumstances.
The court heard he would have been rendered unconscious almost immediately and was unable to free himself.
PC Harper’s body was completely naked apart from his socks when discovered by the officer’s horrified colleagues.
The officer was "barely alive" but died at the scene a short time later.
His tragic and agonising death was just four weeks after marrying sweetheart Lissie Beckett.
Detective Superintendent Stuart Blaik said the defendants had shown no remorse or helped police piece together what happened during the investigation.
Long pleaded guilty to Pc Harper's manslaughter not because it was "the right thing to do" but because of "overwhelming evidence", he explained.
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