PC Andrew Harper's widow writes emotional letter to Boris Johnson demanding RETRIAL after teens cleared of murder

PC Andrew Harper's widow has written to the Prime Minister to demand a retrial after her husband's teenage killers were cleared of murder.

Lissie Harper had been married to PC Harper for just a month when he was killed by Henry Long, 19, Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers, both 18, as they tried to steal a quad bike.




PC Harper, 28, was dragged for more than a mile along the country lanes of Berkshire when he became entangled in a tow rope attached to the teenagers' getaway car.

An Old Bailey jury acquitted all three defendants of murder on Friday, instead convicting Cole and Bowers of manslaughter.

Long had previously pleaded guilty to the same charge.

In an open letter posted on Facebook, Mrs Harper wrote to Boris Johnson, Home Secretary Priti Patel and Lord Blunkett urging them and others "to right such a despicable wrong for our country".

She wrote: "If there is even the slightest chance that this abominable injustice can be rectified then I will do everything I possibly can to ensure that it is."

She added: "I implore you to hear my words, see the facts that are laid out before us, and I ask with no expectations other than hope that you might help me to make these changes be considered, to ensure that Andrew is given the retrial that he unquestionably deserves and to see that the justice system in our country is the solid ethical foundation that it rightly should be. Not the joke that so many of us now view it to be."

The original trial was abandoned the day the country went into lockdown in March.

Mr Justice Edis then ordered extra security measures for the retrial amid fears of potential juror intimidation by supporters of the defendants.

One female juror was discharged just a day before the remaining 11 started deliberating on their verdicts after she was seen mouthing "Bye boys" to the teens in the dock.

Lissie Harper's Letter in full

Dear Boris Johnson, Priti Patel, David Blunkett and any other person in which has the power, moral value and sheer strength of character to right such a dispicable wrong for our country…

I am sure you are acutely aware of the details of the recent trial for the conviction of my late husband PC Andrew Harper’s killers.

Not only was this the second of two trials as the first one eventually had to be cancelled due to Covid-19, but it was also an utter injustice. Not only were the three remorseless men found Not-guilty by a possibly influenced jury of 11, but the way in which the trial was conducted, the suspected interference with the jury and the manner in which the defendants behaved was a total disregard for any legal justice system.

Myself among what appears to be almost the whole country are frankly outraged and determined to have this miscarriage of justice overturned. After the worst possible year any person can face I am immensely drained and devastated, More to the point I am not even sure if there is realistically anything that can be achieved by this letter.

However what I will say is that if there is even the slightest chance that this abominable injustice can be rectified then I will do everything I possibly can to ensure that it is. Not only was my husband brutally killed in the most savage and cruel way but he was also an on duty devoted police officer coming to the aid of an innocent member of the public whilst the defendants attempted to commit crimes as they admit without guilt that they do as a lifestyle.

There are many, many details in which made this recent trial atrociously below board including the fact that one member of the jury was dismissed well into the trial due to being over friendly with the defendants as well as their families, in addition to making inappropriate comments to the defendants in court in which was witnessed by members of the prison service.

On top of this following the first trial it was suspected that there could be jury interference and was therefore necessary for the jury to be given special protection by the police after detectives had intel to suggest that family of the defendants were making plans to intimidate them. This alone in our eyes should be enough grounds for a retrial.

Further to this there had been moments in which the jury seemed to be behaving questionably, for example smiling up at the defendants families, as well as being seen to run out of court very quickly during lunch breaks possibly in order to avoid the swarms of traveller families camped out outside the court.

Believe me, I could go on and on about all of the aspects of this case that quite frankly have not been considered. It is important to note that the Police and detectives had left no stone unturned in order to provide a wealth of evidence against the defendants to show how culpable they are for the murder of my husband. The prosecution barristers made our case spectacularly and with clarity, dignified in the truth.

On the other side of things laid barely a defence whatsoever. Even the reconstruction in which to so many showed clearly that at least Henry Long would have known that he was dragging a heavy person behind his car played heavily to a conviction of murder. The jury by all accounts had a very clear journey to follow, a story of indisputable facts and detail was right there in front of them for all to see.

These are the reasons that leave the entire country shocked and mystified as to how this could have possibly been a trial of honest and equitable decision.The horrific details of the way in which my husband was killed need no repetition, once heard leave a devastating imprint on the minds of anyone who hears them.

So for those who have sat day after day seeing footage and photos more horrifying than any they had probably ever had the misfortune of seeing before, for those who have sat whilst coroners divulge the senseless and heartbreaking injuries that Andrew received that night back in August, how is it at all possible to come to any conclusion other than a guilty verdict of murder?

I am very aware that myself and our families are of course biased, we will always know the truth, and in honesty if this had been a fair trial I may have been more inclined to leave it be and try to accept the verdict that has been reached. However along with the whole world it seems to me, we can all see as plain as day that it clearly has not been a fair trial whatsoever.

So whomever it may be that I must speak to, whoever the correct person, establishment or government body that has the power to help me to claim justice for an innocent man robbed of his life, to ensure that these three immoral, barbaric and shameless men are made to pay for their crimes, not only for Andrew but also for our whole country.

I will keep fighting on behalf of Andrew, the future that was stolen from us and also the victims who find themselves in this unjustly situation in the future. After all, who are we if we allow our legal system to fail us? What is this country if it does not provide justice for the innocent? What does it say to the public and the Police officers, old and new if every day they go out and put themselves at risk to detain these criminals just to witness them be treated so exceptionally lightly in the eyes of the law?

It says that we are weak, that we will roll over to the despicable thieves and vile miscreants of this world and literally let them get away with murder.In total honesty I could write and write until my fingers hurt, I could pour my heart further into this letter, I could scream and shout and stand with fierce determination in the eyes of opposition over this crucial matter.

After all what else can I do for my husband now? My heart bleeds for the life that was so selfishly taken from us, but yet in arduous restraint I will not go on any further.

So I implore you to hear my words, see the facts that are laid out before us, and I ask with no expectations other than hope that you might help me to make these changes be considered, to ensure that Andrew is given the retrial that he unquestionably deserves and to see that the justice system in our country is the solid ethical foundation that it rightly should be.

Not the joke that so many of us now view it to be. Please feel able to share my letter far and wide to whomever you see to be appropriate and impactful.

Kindest regards,

Lissie Harper

The defendants, who had previously been seen laughing and joking, hugged each other after the verdicts were given.

Speaking outside court, Mrs Harper thanked the police and prosecution who had "stood in our corner and fought to make sure these men were made to repent for their barbaric crimes".

But she criticised the verdicts in the open letter on Facebook.

She wrote: "I will keep fighting on behalf of Andrew, the future that was stolen from us and also the victims who find themselves in this unjustly situation in the future.

"After all, who are we if we allow our legal system to fail us?

"What is this country if it does not provide justice for the innocent?

"What does it say to the public and the police officers, old and new if every day they go out and put themselves at risk to detain these criminals just to witness them be treated so exceptionally lightly in the eyes of the law?

"It says that we are weak, that we will roll over to the despicable thieves and vile miscreants of this world and literally let them get away with murder."

Long, Cole and Bowers face sentencing on Friday.





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