The Old Bailey has heard harrowing statements from the Thames Valley Police officer who found PC Harper after he was dragged for over a mile behind a vehicle that was travelling at an average speed of 42.5 mph.
PC Harper and his colleague PC Shaw had responded to reports of a burglary as they made their way back to their base before finishing their shift.
By the time the 999 call came out, both officers had already worked five hours of overtime.
As they responded to the 999 call, they came face-to-face with the vehicle that was towing the stolen £10,000 quad bike.
As PC Harper exited his police vehicle in order to try and grab Jessie Cole – the male who had been steering the stolen quad bike – PC Harper’s feet became entangled in some straps which were being used to tow the stolen quad bike.
Henry Long, 19, was driving the Seat Toledo along with passengers Albert Bowers, 18, and Jessie Cole, 18. The trio are charged with the murder of PC Harper.
PC Andy Kemp was the officer who first found PC Andrew Harper in the road.
PC Kemp had been positioned with PC Bushnell at a junction where they believed the defendants would be heading towards from Sulhamstead.
PC Kemp told the court:
“I saw a vehicle come out and drive straight across the A4 at speed, into Upton Lane with no lights. It did not seem to slow down. The vehicle drove straight across the A4 and I could see some strapping trailing behind it. I then remembered the quad bike. As I turned left, I had my blue lights on and was behind Bushy [PC Bushnell].
“I followed PC Bushnell and he swerved to the left. I could see a dark object moving up the road. I followed his move to the left. I remember seeing something on the road. I believed I needed to go around it as it could damage my vehicle. I remember saying ‘that is a body’, though I did not believe it was.
“I said on the radio that a body had been thrown from the car. I ran out to the right to see what it was. At this point I realised it was a body. I said ‘oh f***’, it is a body’. I thought it was one of the suspects. Then I remembered PC Shaw could not find his colleague. The body was completely naked. The material covering his legs was completely ripped off.
“I realised that the trousers were the ones I wear, this is when I realised it was PC Harper. I could see his private parts, his bum and legs. He had socks and boots. They were the only clothing that were not unattached. I saw PC Bushnell’s flashing vehicle driving away from me and I wanted to call him back
“I said ‘I am going to help you, keep breathing’. At some point I called up and confirmed on the radio and called for the ambulance. It sounded like he was breathing but having difficulty. However, I was conscious that we were in a dark street and close to a main road.
“I got my torch out out and waved it behind me. ‘PC Shaw I am nearly with you’. He pulled up and got out and ran to me. I said he was in a bad way. He came running over and said I think he has got a slight pulse. PC Shaw held his head and said to keep breathing. I saw a male walking a dog. I did not want him to see our colleague in this position so I shouted at him to keep his distance.
“I was on the phone to the ambulance service and they were asking the normal questions and asking for his (PC Harper’s) details. I said I didn’t have time to go over this. I was told I needed to do CPR”.
PC Harper’s colleagues continued to try and save PC Harper’s life, but his injuries were too severe.
A paramedic who responded to the call arrived on the scene shortly after officers found PC Harper and pronounced ‘life extinct’.
The trial continues…
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