A judge has denied that jurors who cleared PC Andrew Harper’s killers of murder were “intimidated” after the officer’s wife demanded a retrial.
Lissie Harper, who married the Thames Valley Police officer weeks before his death, wrote to the prime minister this week calling the case a “miscarriage of justice”.
She raised concerns that the jury had been “influenced” and called the trial process “atrocious”.
Ms Harper accused jurors of “behaving questionably” during a retrial, which was started after the first trial collapsed because of the coronavirus outbreak.
“It seems to me, we can all see as plain as day that it clearly has not been a fair trial whatsoever,” she wrote.
“I ask with no expectations other than hope that you might help me to make these changes be considered, to ensure that Andrew is given the retrial that he unquestionably deserves.”
Henry Long, 19, and Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers, both 18, all denied knowing the 28-year-old officer was attached to their car during a high-speed getaway in Berkshire on 15 August last year.
Long admitted the lesser offence of manslaughter while his friends were convicted of the same charge.
Long was jailed for 16 years on Friday, while Cole and Bowers were given 13 years each.
At their sentencing hearing, Justice Edis said there was no evidence that the jury had been intimidated by relatives or supporters of the defendants, who are travellers.
“It may be believed in some quarters that the jury was subject to some improper pressure,” the judge wrote in an official note.
“To the best of my knowledge and belief there is no truth in that at all.”
Justice Edis said “low level security measures” were in place for both trials to stop jurors’ names being made public.
He said the police received information in March 2020 that “associates of the defendants planned to follow members of the jury with intent to intimidate them”
But the information was not corroborated and “nothing at all untoward happened”.
There was no repeat of the intelligence after the start of the first trial and security measures were imposed on the retrial as a precaution.
The judge said both juries were instructed to report anything unusual but did not make any complaints, adding: “There was no report or hint of any worrying event.”
A juror was discharged “because she had behaved, in open court, in an inappropriate way which gave an appearance of favouring the defendants”, Justice Edis said.
“It had nothing to do with the information received prior to the first trial, or any other undisclosed information. A juror who has been subjected to some pressure and wishes to keep the fact secret is hardly likely to behave as she did.”
The judge said that notes made by jurors had been shared with legal teams on both sides and had not given “any hint of anything appropriate taking place”.
A Downing Street spokesperson said that Boris Johnson would contact the family “once legal proceedings have concluded”.
Double jeopardy laws prevent defendants from being tried twice for the same crime.
The only way a trial verdict can be set aside is if the Court of Appeal quashes it because of new and compelling evidence, or the High Court orders a retrial if juror or witness intimidation is proved in court.