PC Harper’s smirking killers face longer jail terms after widow’s emotional plea
The teenagers who smirked and laughed throughout their trial for the killing of PC Andrew Harper could have their jail sentences lengthened.
The Attorney General has referred the sentences of Henry Long, Albert Bowers and Jessie Cole to the Court of Appeal under the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme.
Last month the three teens were cleared of the police officer's murder but convicted of his manslaughter.
Long, 19, was jailed for 16 years while Cole and Bowers, both 18, were given 13 years.
PC Harper's grieving family, including his widow Lissie, publicly said they were devastated at the youthful killers escaping a murder conviction.
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Today Attorney General Suella Braverman has referred their sentences to the Court of Appeal in a move that could see them put behind bars for longer.
"This was a horrific crime which resulted in the death of a much-respected police officer while he was on-duty, protecting his community," she said today.
"Having personally considered the details of this shocking case, I have decided to refer the sentences of PC Andrew Harper's killers to the Court of Appeal.
"Attacks made against emergency workers will not be tolerated and offenders should be punished with the greatest severity for such heinous crimes."
Lissie Harper said in response: "This is great news and we thank the Attorney General for her swift decision.
"The sentences for Andrew's killers did not match their heinous crime. It was not justice and it needs to be addressed.
"Police officers need to be properly protected by the judicial system. And there must be appropriate punishments for those who would kill police officers.
"We now await the outcome with interest and in the meantime we will continue to campaign for Harper's Law – which is calling for those who kill emergency services workers to spend the rest of their lives in prison.
"I would also like to thank the public for their continued and unstinting support."
The 29-year-old, who married PC Harper just one month before his death, has launched the Harper's Law campaign for automatic life sentences for those convicted of killing emergency service workers.
His mum Debbie Adlam also voiced her support for the Attorney General's decision.
"My family and I know that the whole nation stands with us in outrage at the sentences handed down to my son's killers," she said this morning.
"We can only hope that a fairer outcome is reached by the Court of Appeal to deliver the justice that Andrew deserves.
"As a family we will not stop campaigning until our blue light heroes are safer as they step out each and every day to protect us as a society."
Both Bowers and Cole have lodged applications with the Court of Appeal to challenge their convictions and sentences.
The two teens, along with Long, had been in the process of stealing a £10,000 quad bike on August 15 last year when they were apprehended by PC Harper and fellow officer PC Andrew Shaw.
When they fled the scene in a car, PC Harper's ankles were caught in a strap trailing behind the vehicle and he was dragged for more than a mile down a country road.
He died at the scene from what prosecutor Brian Altman QC called "the most awful injuries".
Long, Bowers and Cole smirked and joked around throughout the trial, and could be seen whooping and cheering over videolink from Belmarsh Prison when they were cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter on July 24.
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