Pc Andrew Harper would be proud of law change campaign, his widow says

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The widow of Pc Andrew Harper has said he would be “proud” of her campaign to jail for life those who kill police officers or other emergency workers.

Lissie Harper, 29, had been married to 28-year-old Pc Harper for just four weeks when he was dragged to his death behind a car of fleeing quad bike thieves in Stanford Dingley, Berkshire.

She called for a retrial after his three teenage killers were all acquitted of murder at the Old Bailey, where Henry Long, 19, was jailed for 16 years and 18-year-olds Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers each sentenced to 13 years for the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Lissie Harper
Lissie Harper says the UK justice system is broken (Aaron Chown/PA)

The Attorney General’s office has been asked to consider if the sentences were too lenient and Mrs Harper is campaigning for a change to the law, which would see a mandatory life sentence for those found guilty of killing an emergency worker.

She said on Tuesday: “Our justice system is broken. And we need Harper’s Law to help fix it.

“I have witnessed first-hand the lenient and insufficient way in which the justice system deals with criminals who take the lives of our emergency workers.

“Sadly nothing I do will bring Andrew back – but I know he would be proud of me for seeking to bring about a law change, which will hopefully act as a deterrent to anyone considering doing to one of his fellow emergency service workers the terrible thing that happened to him.

“Harper’s Law will ensure those that commit these offences aren’t out again on the streets in a matter of weeks while the families of the victims suffer their own life sentences. That would be far more just.”

Her comments come after the first anniversary of Pc Harper’s death on Saturday.

Mrs Harper is expected to meet with her local Tory MP John Howell on Tuesday and is waiting for a date for a meeting with Home Secretary Priti Patel.

The campaign is backed by the Police Federation of England and Wales, whose chairman, John Apter, said: “The killing of a police officer should see those responsible face the rest of their lives in prison.

“This campaign would be Andrew’s legacy and we will continue to support Lissie in her efforts to seek justice and change the law for the greater good.”

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