Three British young teenagers have been found guilty of manslaughter for dragging a British policeman to his death when he got caught on their vehicle.
The driver, 19-year-old Henry Long, was cleared of a murder charge on Friday but had earlier pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of PC Andrew Harper. His passengers in the car, Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers, both 18, were also found guilty of manslaughter.
PC Harper, a married newly, was killed in August last year when he was attending the scene of a reported bike robbery in Berkshire, west of London.
The trio was towing a stolen bike when the 28-year-old officer started chasing the group’s car. During the chase, he reportedly got caught in the tow rope and was dragged for 1.4 miles (2.25 km) down a country lane.
Harper was later found by his colleagues with his uniform stripped and unconscious. He died at the scene
His fatally injured body became detached from the vehicle and was left in the road, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.
“This is a truly heart-breaking case in which a young police officer with everything to look forward to tragically lost his life in the line of duty,” said the Chief Crown Prosecutor for the Thames and Chiltern area in southern England Jaswant Kaur Narwal.
“He was killed trying to stop suspects who were prepared to go to any lengths to get away with their crime.”
In a statement, Thames Valley Police Detective Superintendent Stuart Blaik said he was “delighted” by the outcome, but stressed that no one could “ever imagine” what PC Harper’s widow, Lissie, had been through.
He added: “It’s just absolutely devastating for them.
“This whole process of the court trial, having to relive what’s happened and listen in to the grisly detail of how Andrew came to his death.”
Long is said to have previous convictions for battery, being drunk and disorderly, and shoplifting. Bowers, too, has previously been convicted for battery, criminal damage, sexual assault, and owning an offensive weapon. The three teenagers will be sentenced next Friday. Read here