Teenagers guilty of PC Andrew Harper’s manslaughter

Friday, July 24, 2020

Three teenagers have been convicted of manslaughter over the death of PC Andrew Harper, the Thames Valley Police officer who was killed on duty last summer.

The 28-year-old died when he became entangled in a tow rope and was dragged by a car for more than a mile along country lanes in Berkshire.

The incident occurred on August 15 2019  after PC Harper attempted to apprehend the defendants for a reported theft of a quadbike.

Driver Henry Long, 19, and passengers Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers – both 18 – were today cleared of murder charges at the Old Bailey but still face years behind bars having been found guilty of manslaughter.

Henry Long, 19 (left), Jessie Cole, 18 (centre), Albert Bowers, 18 (right)

They had all admitted plotting the theft and Long pleaded guilty to manslaughter, which Cole and Bowers denied. They all denied knowing that PC Harper was there.

Their defence claimed the incident was a “freak event” that none of them could have planned or foreseen.

But the prosecution said at more than 6ft and weighing 14 stone, the defendants must have been aware the officer was being dragged to his death.

Following the verdicts, Thames Valley Police Detective Superintendent Stuart Blaik said he was “delighted” to get justice for his colleague following a complex and challenging investigation.

He said: “The fact he was a police officer and one of our own of course, it’s paid a huge toll on all of us. But I’m very proud of what we’ve done.”

Sentencing is due to take place next Friday.

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