PC Andrew Harper’s wife ‘overwhelmed’ by support for campaign to jail police killers for life

Lissie Harper to meet local MP and home secretary in push to change sentencing laws

Pc Andrew Harper's killers jailed

The widow of PC Andrew Harper has said she is “overwhelmed” by the amount of public support for a campaign to jail people who kill police officers for life.

Lissie Harper, 29, is campaigning for a new law in her husband’s name that would create a mandatory life sentence for those found guilty of killing an emergency worker.

“Our justice system is broken and we need Harper’s Law to help fix it,” she said.

“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.”

Ms Harper was expected to meet with her local MP, John Howell, on Tuesday and is waiting for a date for a meeting with the home secretary.

She said she had been “overwhelmed” by thousands of people across the country who have backed the campaign.

Ms Harper had been married to PC Harper for a month when he was dragged to his death by a group of teenagers who were stealing a quad bike in Berkshire last year.

The driver of the car, 19-year-old Henry Long, was jailed for 16 years for manslaughter, while Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers were given 13 years each for the same offence.

All denied knowing the 28-year-old officer was attached to their car during a high-speed getaway.

The attorney general is currently considering whether the sentences were “unduly lenient” and Ms Harper wrote to the prime minister demanding a retrial after the trio were acquitted of murder last month.

But a judge said there was no evidence of jury intimidation or other issues that would have invalidated the verdict.

Ms Harper’s campaign for a change in the law is being supported by the Police Federation of England and Wales, which represents rank-and-file officers.

Chair 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.”

The current guidelines for sentencing manslaughter state that the sentence depends on the level of culpability and aggravating factors, which mean that punishments can be increased if victims were “performing a public duty at the time of the offence”.

For adult offenders, the starting point ranges from two years to 18 years depending on the circumstances.

Life sentences can be passed for manslaughter but are far rarer than for murder, which is a deliberate rather than “involuntary” crime.

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