Teenager admits killing Pc Andrew Harper but denies murder

Gareth Davies
Teenager admits killing Pc Andrew Harper but denies murder

A teenager has admitted killing police officer Andrew Harper at a plea hearing at the Old Bailey on Tuesday. Henry Long, 18, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Pc Harper but denied murder.

Pc Harper, 28, was killed on Aug 15 near the village of Sulhamstead in Berkshire while responding to reports of a burglary. He died from multiple injuries after being dragged under a van.

The alleged van driver - 18-year-old Long from Mortimer, Reading - appeared at the Old Bailey for a plea hearing by video link from Belmarsh prison wearing a black and white Puma sweatshirt.

When asked for his plea to a charge of manslaughter, he said: "Pardon, was that manslaughter?" before adding: "I plead guilty, guilty."

Long denied Pc Harper's murder but admitted conspiracy to steal a quad bike.

A 17-year-old co-defendant, who cannot be identified, entered not guilty pleas to Pc Harper's manslaughter and conspiracy to steal.

The boy appeared in court by video link from Wetherby young offenders institute in a grey sweatshirt and wearing a crucifix around his neck.

Previously, another 17-year-old boy has entered not guilty pleas to manslaughter and conspiracy to steal.

A fourth defendant, Thomas King, 21, from Basingstoke, had admitted conspiracy to steal a quad bike.

The three teenagers are due to face a six-week trial at the Old Bailey from March 9.

The police officer had been married to to his wife Lissie for just four weeks when he died.