‘The 15th August last year was a night we will never forget, none more so than Lissie, PC Andrew Harper’s wife and all of his family, friends, along with colleagues across the policing family.
‘Andrew lost his life doing what police officers do up and down the country every day, putting themselves in harm’s way to protect the public.
‘Despite having already worked a long shift and being ready to go off duty, PC Harper and his crewmate PC Shaw responded to a report of a burglary in progress at Standford Dingley, West Berkshire.
‘They could have ignored the call but that is not what professional and dedicated police officers do. PC Harper had all those qualities in abundance and tragically this was to cost him his life.
‘It was the determined criminality of Henry Long, Albert Bowers and Jessie Cole that caused these catastrophic events.
‘All three of them knew they had been confronted by the police in Admoor Lane that night but their plan was always to evade arrest at all costs.
‘Rather than stopping and accepting that they had been caught ‘red handed’ they sped off in a car which had been deliberately modified into a dangerous condition with PC Harper entangled in the tow rope that had been used to steal the quad bike.
‘It was just over a mile before he became detached from the tow rope. I don’t need to detail the horrific injuries that Andrew had suffered at the hands of these three men.
‘Long, Bowers and Cole have shown no remorse for what happened that evening at any stage. They could have helped the investigation from the outset yet they chose either to say nothing or in Long’s case to provide a false alibi. Their lies and deceit have been exposed during this trial.
‘This investigation has been incredibly complex and distressing and I want to pay tribute to all those police officers, police staff, the CPS and the instructed lawyers who have worked tirelessly over the last 11 months.
‘Lastly I want to pay tribute to Lissie and Andrew’s family. Their dignity, strength, courage, and support to the investigation has been nothing short of incredible and inspiring to us all.
‘We will never forget the terrible loss of PC 7605 Andrew Harper’.
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Long, Bowers and Cole
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