‘I’ll live how Andrew would want me to live’ PC Andrew Harper’s widow says she will ‘listen to her heart’ as she hopes to find happiness again more than two years after he was killed
- PC Andrew Harper was killed in August 2019 in the line of duty in Berkshire
- His legs became entangled in a strap on a car driven by Henry Long, then 19
- PC Harper’s widow Lissie says she wants to ‘listen to her heart’ to embrace life
PC Andrew Harper’s widow says she is determined to live life to the full and embrace happiness.
Lissie Harper, 30, said the brutal killing of her husband in Berkshire four weeks after their wedding would never leave her.
But she said was hoping one day to find happiness again after the tragedy.
Speaking on ITV’s The Killing of PC Harper: A Widow’s Fight for Justice tonight, she said: ‘We had gone from the happiest day of our lives to the worst in such a short space of time.
‘I don’t think I will ever fully come to terms with Andrew’s death, such an unexpected and shocking change to my life and the future we planned.
‘But I plan to be grateful for every moment and live how Andrew would want me to – to be happy and listen to my heart.’
PC Harper’s widow Lissie says she wants to ‘listen to her heart’ to embrace life again
PC Andrew Harper was killed in the line of duty just four weeks after their wedding
In November Mrs Harper met Boris Johnson at No 10 after ministers agreed to introduce Harper’s Law, which will see mandatory life sentences for those who take the lives of police and other 999 workers, plus nurses and doctors.
Labour, which has opposed a series of the Government’s law and order measures, confirmed it will support Harper’s Law when it is voted on by Parliament.
The three killers of 28-year-old PC Harper escaped with sentences as low as 13 years – and smirked in the dock.
They were cleared of murdering the Thames Valley constable but convicted of his manslaughter, after dragging him behind their vehicle for more than a mile.
His legs became entangled in a strap attached to a Seat Toledo driven by Henry Long, then 19. After a trial, Long was sentenced to 16 years. He could be freed after serving two-thirds of the sentence – or ten years and eight months.
Passengers Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers, both then 18, will be entitled to automatic release after serving eight years and eight months of their 13-year terms.
Handout issued by Thames Valley Police of Henry Long (left), 19, and 18-year-olds Jessie Cole (centre) and Albert Bowers (right), who were jailed over the death of the police traffic officer
The Court of Appeal rejected a bid by the Attorney General to increase their sentences, and the three have received more than £700,000 in legal aid.
Broadly, the new law will introduce mandatory life sentences for cases where offenders are cleared of murdering an emergency services worker but are convicted of the lesser charge of manslaughter. Judges will be allowed to waive the minimum life term in only the most ‘exceptional’ cases where it would be ‘unjust’.
The change will not be retrospective, meaning it will not affect PC Harper’s killers.
Martin Hewitt, chairman of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said at the time of the new law: ‘Police officers and staff… very often have to place themselves in harm’s way and tragically, as we all saw with the loss of PC Andrew Harper, that can result in the ultimate sacrifice. Officers and staff deserve the full protection of the criminal justice system.’
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