Pc Andrew Harper trial told his clothes were ‘ripped and stripped from his body’ as he was dragged to his death trying to stop quad bike thieves

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Enterprise News and Pictures 23/8/19 Pic shows: Pc Andrew Harper, 28, who was allegedly murdered trying to stop burglars, is pictured here in a set of photos released in tribute to him today by his family. He died after being struck by a car and dragged along the road after he arrived at the scene of the burglary, close to the A4 Bath Road, near Reading and Newbury on August 15. Jed Foster, 20, who has been charged with murdering PC Harper, has been remanded in custody ahead of a potential trial next January. The family tribute was made as police forces across the country held a minute's silence in his memory. PC Harper's mother Debbie said she was moved by the "outpouring of love" since her son's death. She said: “We are devastated and bereft but as Andrew always lived with dignity, honour and calmness, we intend to grieve in this way. A big part of me has gone with you, I cannot imagine our lives going forward but we will do so with Andrew in our hearts.” His father Phil, said: “You would always put yourself forward to look after the people around you, and would always see the good in others. You always made us laugh, always bringing tears of happiness to our eyes.” Andrew’s brother Sean, said: “We all love you so much, I promise you will never be forgotten, and I promise that I will do my best to try to make you as proud of me as I am of you.” His sister Aimee, said: “It takes my breath away every time the realisation sets in that I never get to see you again. But we were so, so lucky to all be together for the wedding which was perfect, you always brought us together". See story...

PC Andrew Harper was dragged to his death as he tried to stop three teenagers from stealing a quad bike, the Old Bailey has been told.

The officer’s uniform was “ripped and stripped from his body” as he was “swung from side to side like a pendulum” when his ankles got caught in a tow rope strap trailing behind a Seat Toledo in Bradfield Southend near Reading, Berkshire on August 15 2019.

Pc Andrew Harper

The prosecution case has just opened to a new jury after a trial, which started in March, had to be halted due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Prosecutor Jonathan Laidlaw QC, said PC Harper, 28, from Wallingford, Oxfordshire, was left with the “most appalling of injuries… and he died there on the road” after he became entangled in the tow rope.

 

He told the jury: “It was a senseless killing of a young police officer in the line of duty; a young man who was doing no more than his job.”

Police attended after Peter Wallis reported the theft of a quad bike from the drive outside his home in Bradfield Southend.

Thames Valley Police officer Andrew Harper and a colleague responded to the call.

Pc Harper was actually due to finished his shift for Thames Valley Police’s roads policing unit.

“It was going beyond the call of duty, as it were, and it cost Andrew Harper his life,” Mr Laidlaw told the jury.

The court heard the officers came face-to-face with a Seat Toledo in Admoor Lane, being driven by Henry Long, 19.

Henry Long

Albert Bowers, 18, was in the front passenger seat and Jessie Cole, also 18, was riding the quad bike, which was being towed from behind with a strap.

Albert Bowers

Jonathan Laidlaw said Mr Long then “sped off” and PC Harper ended up “lassoed” around his ankles.

Jessie Cole

“The loop of strapping was now on the ground and being dragged behind the Seat. PC Harper must have quite unwittingly stepped, with both feet, into the loop made on the road.

Pc Harper died after he was “swung from side to side like a pendulum”

PC Harper’s colleague, PC Andrew Shaw, described it “as if he had lost his footing while water skiing” with his feet “being whipped forward and his body being thrown back”.

The prosecutor said although none of the defendants could have “possibly intended that that should happen” it “must have been very quickly clear to Henry Long… that the vehicle was now dragging somebody”.

Henry Long was allegedly driving the Seat Toledo

The car travelled for more than a mile before Pc Harper became untangled and detached from the tow rope strap and had suffered a “very severe” brain injury, the post mortem revealed.

Henry Long, from Mortimer, Reading, has pleaded guilty to manslaughter but denies murder. He has gone on trial along with Jessie Cole, of Paices Hill near Reading, and Albert Bowers, of Moat Close, Bramley, and they all deny murder. The three defendants have already all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal a quad bike.

The trial, expected to last five weeks, continues.

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