Anguish of hero PC's widow on his 30th birthday

Anguish of hero PC’s widow on his 30th birthday: Andrew Harper’s devastated wife Lissie says she would have ‘spoiled him rotten’ on big occasion

  • PC Andrew Harper was killed as he tried to stop a gang from stealing a quad bike
  • He suffered catastrophic injuries after being dragged behind their getaway car 
  • His widow is campaigning for people who kill police officers to get life sentences

His heartbroken widow is now campaigning for people who kill police officers to get life sentences. ‘Never in my deepest dread did I ever expect to be spending what would have been Andrew’s 30th birthday without him here,’ she said

It should have been the day she ‘spoiled her husband rotten’ on his 30th birthday.

But instead Lissie Harper will be spending another milestone day mourning the life they might have lived together.

Andrew Harper, a 28-year-old Thames Valley Police officer, was killed as he tried to stop a gang of teenagers from stealing a quad bike in Berkshire in August 2019.

He suffered catastrophic injuries after being dragged behind their getaway car for more than a mile.

His heartbroken widow is now campaigning for people who kill police officers to get life sentences. 

‘Never in my deepest dread did I ever expect to be spending what would have been Andrew’s 30th birthday without him here,’ she said.

She continued: ‘This should have been such a happy day of celebration and I am utterly heartbroken that it is not.

‘I’m sadly sure there will be many “should-have-beens” to come but I have to say this one is especially hard. I would have been spoiling him rotten today.

‘Instead I will be trying to hold it together while I spend a solemn day with my family.’

Mrs Harper said she plans to visit one of her and her husband’s favourite places and think about ‘all of the beautiful memories and things he used to do and love’.

‘I will take flowers and tea and sit in quiet contemplation of the life that was cruelly taken from us but also of all the laughter and light that he shared with me.

‘Another milestone that was taken, another special moment in time altered forever.’

She said her husband, whom she described as a ‘kind, considerate, wonderful, positive person, who wanted to help people’, probably would not have wanted a fuss on his birthday. 

‘He probably would have said to me the night before that he just wanted to get a takeaway,’ she said.

The newlywed officer was killed on August 15, 2019, by Henry Long, Albert Bowers and Jessie Cole.

Andrew Harper, a 28-year-old Thames Valley Police officer, was killed as he tried to stop a gang of teenagers from stealing a quad bike in Berkshire in August 2019

The trio were convicted of manslaughter last year but were cleared of murder.

Long was jailed for 16 years and Bowers and Cole 13 years. The sentences inspired Mrs Harper to launch the Harper’s Law campaign in memory of her husband, which has received the backing of Home Secretary Priti Patel, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland and police chiefs.

‘The least we can expect from our justice system is that it ensures criminals who kill those emergency services workers protecting us are given appropriate and substantial prison sentences,’ she said.

‘Harper’s Law will mean that a person found guilty of killing a police officer, firefighter, nurse, doctor, paramedic or prison officer, as a direct result of a crime they have committed, would be jailed for life.

‘This means that a life sentence would be imposed, asking for a minimum term in prison.

‘Harper’s Law would provide a strong deterrent and an appropriate punishment for committing such a heinous crime.

‘I know that if he could, Andrew would be right by my side fighting for this law change… he would want me to get this law passed for all who deserve it.

‘While it is heartbreaking to be spending Andrew’s special birthday in grief, tomorrow, I will dust myself down and continue the campaign for Harper’s Law.’

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