Charges dropped against man accused of murdering Pc Andrew Harper

By Joe Gammie, PA

A man accused of the murder of Pc Andrew Harper has had the charge against him dropped.

Jed Foster was arrested and charged with the murder of the police officer in Berkshire last month.

But prosecutors at the Old Bailey on Thursday said there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction and moved to end the case against the 20-year-old.

Pc Andrew Harper and his wife, Lissie

Prosecutor Jonathan Polnay said: “From August 19 of this year the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) authorised that Jed Foster be charged with the murder of Pc Andrew Harper.

“A full file of evidence has been received from the police and fully reviewed.

“The CPS has concluded that the full code test is not met and there is not a realistic prospect of conviction.

“Proceedings against Mr Foster cannot and should not be continued.”

Mr Polnay said that the prosecution was serving a discontinuance order in connection with Mr Foster.

Mrs Justice Whipple said: “The prosecution have served a notice of discontinuance of their case against you.

“That means that you are no longer to be detained in custody.”

Newlywed Pc Harper, 28, was killed on August 15 near the village of Sulhamstead in Berkshire when he was dragged under a van while responding to reports of a burglary.

He had been married to Lissie for just four weeks when he died.

Three teenagers charged with the murder of Pc Andrew Harper also appeared at the Old Bailey on Thursday afternoon.

Henry Long, 18, from Mortimer in Reading, and two 17-year-old boys, who cannot be named because of their age, were remanded in custody to appear at the same court for a plea and trial preparation hearing on December 13.

The three teenagers had appeared at Reading Magistrates’ Court earlier the same day where they spoke only to confirm their name, date of birth and address during the eight-minute hearing.

They, along with Thomas King, 21, from Basingstoke, are also accused of conspiracy to steal a quad bike.

King was released on conditional bail to return to Old Bailey on December 13 as well.

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