A man who is accused of murdering PC Andrew Harper claimed that he had been watching films on the night that the hero police officer died.
19-year-old Henry Long allegedly drove at speeds over 40 mph on winding country lanes after PC Harper became entangled in a strap that was attached to Long’s SEAT Toledo on 15th August last year.
Long, along with his two passengers Albert Bowers (18) and Jessie Cole (18) have denied murdering the newly-wed police officer, but have admitted to conspiring to steal a £10,000 quad bike.
Jurors at the Old Bailey have been told that Long has pleaded guilty to manslaughter but denies murdering the police officer.
On day two of what is expected to be a five-week trial, prosecutor Jonathan Laidlaw QC told the court that the defendants were all arrested soon after the SEAT Toledo that had dragged PC Harper for more than a mile was located by the National Police Air Service at Four Houses Corner travellers’ site.
After being told that a police officer had died, Long allegedly said to officers: “Look at me. Do I look like a murderer?”
Later on in the investigation, via a prepared statement, Long told officers that he had been at the caravan site all evening watching DVDs.
Long said: “We watched DVDs. One was Goonies, Fast & Furious. I went to bed. I think around 10.30 pm. Police woke me up. I had been outside just for a cigarette but otherwise had not left.”
When charged by officers, Long is alleged to have said: “I don’t give a f**k about any of this.”
Mr Laidlaw QC told jurors that Long now accepts that he lied about his account of what he had been doing on the night when PC Harper was killed, but that he is “still refusing to face up to the whole truth”.
Mr Laidlaw added that Long maintains that he did not know that he was dragging anybody behind the car that he was driving along the A4.
But Mr Laidlaw suggested that the evidence would show “he knew perfectly well he was dragging a person behind the car – furthermore, it could only have been a police officer from the unmarked car that had confronted them in Admoor Lane”.
PC Andrew Harper joined Thames Valley Police in 2010 as a special constable, before becoming a full-time regular officer in 2011.
PC Harper was part of the Proactive Roads Policing Team based at Abingdon and had joined that team three weeks before his death.
He had been a roads policing officer for three years.
PC Harper had been married to his long-term partner Lissie four weeks to the day before his death.
The couple had been looking forward to their honeymoon in the Maldives, which was a few weeks away on 9th September.
The trial continues…
PC Andrew Harper | Born 22 March 1991 – died 15 August 2019 | #RIP
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