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PC Andrew Harper’s mother describes watching his killers ‘laughing’ in court

PC Andrew Harper’s mother has today spoken of her pain at watching her son’s killers ‘laughing’ and joking’ in court as she talks about her new ‘Andrew’s Law’ campaign on Good Morning Britain.

Henry Long, 19, and 18-year-olds Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers were sentenced at the Old Bailey on Friday for manslaughter after PC Harper was killed last year. 

PC Harper, died horrifically on August 15 last year after he tried to stop the trio fleeing after they stole a quad bike in Stanford Dingley, Berkshire but his ankle got caught in a strap dangling from the back of a Seat Toledo and he was dragged to his death.

Long was sentenced to 16 years, while Cole and Bowers were each handed 13-year terms.  The family said they were let down by the ‘unduly lenient’ sentences’.

PC Harper’s bereaved mother, Debbie Adlam, 53, has launched a new ‘Andrew’s Law’ campaign for a mandatory 20 year sentence for those convicted of killing police officers.

Appearing by video link from her home in Oxfordshire on Good Morning Britain she slammed the killers for ‘laughing and joking’ in court and said if her son was alive he would ‘fully support’ the campaign. 

PC Harper, died horrifically on August 15 last year after he tried to stop the trio fleeing after they stole a quad bike in Stanford Dingley, Berkshire but his ankle got caught in a strap dangling from the back of a Seat Toledo and he was dragged to his death.

Henry Long (left), 19, and 18-year-olds Jessie Cole (centre) and Albert Bowers (right) were sentenced at the Old Bailey on Friday for manslaughter

Henry Long (left), 19, and 18-year-olds Jessie Cole (centre) and Albert Bowers (right) were sentenced at the Old Bailey on Friday for manslaughter

Asked if she would have felt different if the accused showed some remorse during the trial, she told Good Morning Britain: ‘I think I would, we’ve watched them laughing, joking. 

‘Because of the situation with Covid things were laid out separately to the normal situation in a court room so we were sat for quite a long time sat with them on a video screen opposite where we were sat and they were joking and laughing and talking to each other and their microphones weren’t even switched on.

‘Which I don’t really understand how that’s appropriate. If you are in a murder trial how the suspects don’t have to sit there and listen to at least what there saying and doing while we are sat listening to their hideous crimes. I didn’t see any remorse. ‘

This week the Attorney General’s Office confirmed they have been asked to consider if the jail terms handed down are too lenient. 

Mrs Adlam welcomed the decision this week, and this morning said she couldn’t understand why reductions were taken off the sentences for her sons killers. 

Appearing by video link from her home in Oxfordshire on Good Morning Britain she slammed the killers for 'laughing and joking' in court and said if her son was alive he would 'fully support' the campaign

Appearing by video link from her home in Oxfordshire on Good Morning Britain she slammed the killers for ‘laughing and joking’ in court and said if her son was alive he would ‘fully support’ the campaign

She said:   ‘I think personally speaking the initial sentence was not so much my issue. When I saw the reductions coming off of these sentences it was then becoming unbelievable how much was taken off.

‘It just didn’t make any sense to me because an early plea for something when you’re really in a position where you’ve got no choice other than to admit you’ve done it because its been proven to you thats one thing and then the age issue is a big problem for me.

‘And this is part of the reason that we are launching Andrew’s Law and we are blown away with the response so far.’

PC Harper’s widow Lissie had expressed bitter disappointment her husband’s killers were cleared of murder and instead found guilty of manslaughter.

She branded the sentence ‘atrociously below board’ and suggested jurors may have been intimidated by the defendants’ families or friends.

Mrs Adlam said that today the family were still overcome by waves of grief and emotion after the loss of their beloved Andrew.

She said: ‘We can go through all the emotions within a day or two you can just be in the pits of desperation out of the blue we get these waves of grief that come along. 

Andrew Harper and Lissie should have been spending the end of summer 2019 on honeymoon in the Maldives

Andrew Harper and Lissie should have been spending the end of summer 2019 on honeymoon in the Maldives

‘It’s very hard to actually focus on getting anything done if you’re positive about going forward. 

‘This is hopefully an added benefit in putting some focus onto what we are doing now. 

‘Because this is all to be done in Andrew’s name but for the benefit of others. Andrew’s not lucky enough to benefit from it but I know for a fact the type of person he is that this is something he would fully support. 

‘Going forward we don’t want to have these long drawn out trials where you have manslaughter or murder debates. 

‘He put himself in harms way for out benefit and the general public, and that’s what the blue light services do they go out while we are sat in bed or watching TV or going to the pub, they are out there putting themselves in harms way and thats why the blue light services and police deserve a bit of extra protection. 

‘Looking at a minimum of twenty years plus with no reductions for age.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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