Sentences of three teens jailed over PC Harper killing to be reviewed

21 August 2020, 12:07

Albert Bowers (left) and Jessie Cole (centre) leaving Reading Magistrates Court
Albert Bowers (left) and Jessie Cole (centre) leaving Reading Magistrates Court. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

The Attorney General has referred the sentences of Pc Andrew Harper's killers to the Court of Appeal under the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme.

Henry Long, 19, was jailed for 16 years and 18-year-olds Albert Bowers and Jessie Cole were each sentenced to 13 years in prison for the manslaughter of the Thames Valley Police officer.

Suella Braverman said: "This was a horrific crime which resulted in the death of a much-respected police officer while he was on-duty, protecting his community.

"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."

Bowers and Cole this week lodged applications with the Court of Appeal seeking permission to challenge their convictions and their 13-year jail sentences.

The news comes just days after two of Pc Andrew Harper's killers launched appeals against their manslaughter convictions.

Albert Bowers and Jessie Cole have lodged applications with the Court of Appeal seeking permission to challenge their convictions and their 13-year sentences.

Confirmation of their appeal bids came on Wednesday as Pc Harper's widow launched a petition to show the level of public support for tougher jail terms for people who kill emergency services workers.

Lissie Harper, 29, is trying to secure a meeting with Home Secretary Priti Patel and wants to show the extent of the backing for her campaign.

Supported by the Police Federation of England and Wales, which represents more than 120,000 rank-and-file officers, Harper's Law would see anyone convicted of killing an emergency services worker given a life sentence.

Pc Harper died last summer when he was dragged down country lanes behind a car driven by fleeing quad bike thieves.

Three teenagers were cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter. Henry Long, 19, was jailed for 16 years and Cole and Bowers were given 13 years.