12:07 GMT15 August 2020
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    In August 2019 an English police officer died after being dragged by a car for a mile down a country lane in the darkness as he tried to stop a gang of teenagers stealing a quad bike. PC Andrew Harper, 28, suffered “catastrophic” injuries after his foot got caught in a towing strap behind the robbers’ car in Berkshire, west of London.

    Three teenagers have been found guilty of the manslaughter of PC Andrew Harper, a 28-year-old police officer, who died after being dragged along a road behind a car that they were driving.

    He was killed after responding to reports of a quad bike being stolen on 15 August 2019. 

    Henry Long, 19, who was driving the Seat Toledo, Albert Bowers, 18, who was in the passenger seat and Jessie Cole, also 18, who was in the stolen quad bike attached to it, were cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter at the Old Bailey on Friday, 24 July.

    ​PC Harper and his fellow officer PC Andrew Shaw were on duty when they received a call regarding a burglary involving three masked teenagers. They met the trio in their vehicles on an unlit road late that night.

    PC Andrew Harper, who was killed in August 2019 when he tried to stop a quad bike being stolen
    © Photo : Thames Valley Police
    PC Andrew Harper

    When attempting to apprehend them, PC Harper’s foot got caught in a crane strap behind their car.

    Long drove off at a speed of more than 40 mph and the police officer was dragged for over a mile along a country road in Berkshire.

    His uniform was “ripped and stripped from his body” and he was “swung from side to side like a pendulum” as the getaway car drove off. He died after sustaining “catastrophic injuries.”

    ​The three had pleaded guilty for conspiracy to steal the quad-bike and Long had earlier admitted to manslaughter.

    They will return to the Old Bailey on Friday 31 July to receive their sentences.

    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,” he said.

    Tags:
    police, manslaughter, murder
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