On Air

Rick Houghton 7:00pm - 10:00pm

Now Playing

Fontella Bass Rescue Me
You are viewing content from The Breeze Basingstoke & North Hampshire.
Would you like to make this your preferred location?

Three teenagers found guilty of the manslaughter of PC Andrew Harper in Berkshire

On the 15th of August 2019, the 28-year-old and a colleague were called to reports of a stolen quad bike in Sulhamstead. Henry Long, aged 19 from College Piece, Mortimer, and 18-year-old Albert Bowers from Windmill Corner, Mortimer Common, and 18-year-old Jessie Cole from Paices Hill, Aldermaston were towing the bike when they were confronted by the officers.

Cole, who was riding the bike, rushed to get back in the group's car to get away, and was pursued by PC Harper on foot.

As the car drove away, PC Harper's foot got caught in the tow rope, and he was dragged for almost one and a half miles before his body became detached from the car.

Long drove the car towards Four Houses Corner in Ufton Nervet, with police in pursuit - they were arrested shortly afterwards

After a four-week trial at the Old Bailey, Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers have been found guilty of manslaughter. Long pleaded guilty to manslaughter at an earlier hearing. 

 All three pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal a quad bike at an earlier hearing.

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Superintendent Stuart Blaik of the Thames Valley Police Major Crime Unit, said: “Today Long, Bowers and Cole have been convicted of the manslaughter of our colleague PC Andrew Harper.

“We respect the jury’s decision to find the three defendants not guilty of the murder of PC Harper. We appreciate that the jurors must be sure that the prosecution has proved guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

“No matter what the verdicts, there would have been no sense of victory.

“It was always going to be an immense challenge to bring this case to court, and in doing so was an achievement in itself.

“This has been a hugely complicated investigation in which we seized 2,753 exhibits, took 1,250 statements and visited more than 1,000 homes during house to house enquiries.

“It was extremely challenging to determine our suspects but once we had, we then had to establish who was driving and who the passengers were. It is thanks to this work that we were able to prove beyond a doubt that Long, Bowers and Cole were all in the Seat Toledo that night. The strength of the evidence against them meant that they had to admit their involvement in this offence before the trial even started.

“Hundreds of our officers and staff as well as colleagues from across the country and the Crown Prosecution Service worked diligently to discover the truth.

“I want to thank everyone who worked on this investigation. Without their hard work it would not have been possible to bring this case to court and convict Henry Long, Albert Bowers and Jessie Cole of manslaughter, and all the defendants of conspiracy to steal.

“I would like to draw particular attention to the incredible bravery shown by PC Harper’s family throughout this entire process. Understandably, there has been a huge amount of media attention on this case since PC Harper’s death, and much of his trial has been played out in the public eye.

“PC Andrew Harper was a brave, young, dedicated police officer who was killed in the act of doing his job and trying to protect the public.

“He will always be remembered.”

Jaswant Kaur Narwal, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern, said: “This is a truly heart-breaking case in which a young police officer with everything to look forward to tragically lost his life in the line of duty.

 “He was killed trying to stop suspects who were prepared to go to any lengths to get away with their crime.

“It has been an emotional trial, and evidentially challenging, but I am pleased the jury has found all three culpable for PC Harper’s death. My thoughts remain with all of his family and his colleagues at Thames Valley Police.”

More from Local News