Solicitor says killers of PC Andrew Harper should not 'have their spirits broken' by sentences

22 August 2020, 09:04 | Updated: 22 August 2020, 11:03

Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

A criminal solicitor has told LBC that the killers of PC Andrew Harper should not 'have their spirits broken' by harsh sentences.

Malcolm Fowler, criminal solicitor advocate and legal commentator, warned that longer sentences could actually lead to the killers reoffending.

He told LBC's Andrew Castle: "They are young men - and people will cease when I say this - but they will have to be released following their sentences.

"There is little or no evidence that longer and ever longer sentences discourage offending - indeed it makes it more likely that back they will come with further offences on their release.

"Breaking their spirits with excessively long sentences is likely to result in them reoffending."

Andrew interrupted the solicitor, saying "I'm not having that" and labelled the offenders a "lost cause".

"'Breaking the spirits' of these three? Seriously? These guys are an absolute lost cause and certain elements of their life have indicated that," he said.

Andrew added that putting the offenders in prison for similar length to Hashem Abedi - the brother who assisted the Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi - would be "more like it".

A solictor has argued that longer sentences for the killers of PC Andrew Harper may be counter-productive
A solictor has argued that longer sentences for the killers of PC Andrew Harper may be counter-productive. Picture: LBC/PA Images

It follows the controversy over the acquittal of those responsible for the brutal killing of PC Harper last year.

His widow, Lissie Harper, called for a retrial after his three teenage killers were all acquitted of murder at the Old Bailey and instead sentenced for the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Henry Long, 19, was jailed for 16 years and 18-year-olds Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers each sentenced to 13 years.

The case has been passed to attorney general Suella Braverman for review over alleged "undue leniency" from the judge.

During the trial, the prosecution described the case of the 28-year-old constable as "a completely senseless killing".

The court heard that PC Harper was “dragged for over a mile along the road surface” after his ankles were caught in a “strap trailing behind a car” in Berkshire on 15 August last year.

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