‘Unduly lenient’ sentences of PC Harper’s killers to be reviewed

The sentences of three teenagers jailed over the killing of PC Andrew Harper will be reviewed to decide if they were “unduly lenient”.

Henry Long, 19, Albert Bowers and Jessie Cole, both 18, were jailed last month for manslaughter after being acquitted of murder.

PC Harper, 28, died in August last year – just weeks after his wedding – as the trio fled the scene of a quad bike theft in Berkshire.

The Thames Valley Police traffic officer got his ankles caught in a crane strap attached to the back of a car driven by Long.

He was dragged, to his death, behind the car for a mile along dark country lanes.

Long was sentenced to 16 years in prison, while Bowers and Cole were given jail sentences of 13 years.

Attorney General Suella Braverman has now referred their sentences to the Court of Appeal under the Unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) scheme.

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

“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.”

The ULS scheme allows victims of crime, their families, prosecutors or the public to ask for sentences to be reviewed if they believe them to be too low.

The attorney general can only ask the Court of Appeal to review a sentence under the scheme if she considers the sentence to be unduly lenient.

In such cases, she acts independently of government and as a “guardian of the public interest”.

PC Harper’s widow, Lissie, has been campaigning for a minimum sentence of life in prison for anyone convicted of killing a police, officer, firefighter, doctor, prison officer or paramedic.

A date is yet to be set for the Court of Appeal hearing.

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