Condolancies to PC Harpers family

Thug

Moderator
Great write-up and has confirmed a few things I have said earlier in the this thread in regards to police numbers falling, the watering down of powers (stop and search) and the way the current government and media has turned the public against the police.

A 20 year old man has now been charged with murder.
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
We want the police to look after us so looking after them is common sense.
Which doesn't apply often enough to politicians.
 

DemonAV

Distinguished Member
My God. The perpetrators need flogging weekly as part of a full life term.
 

krish

Distinguished Member
I knew it was going to be an evil horrific crime, as it seemed like it might have been like that awful lynching by dragging, committed by US white supremacists in the 90s.

I'm against capital punishment but these (I'm guessing unrepentant) perps really need to feel pain.
 

Sonic67

Banned
If you want to follow on Twitter, @BBCHelena (Helena Wilkinson) is posting.
 

Marv

Member
Hope the courts go hard on all three of them. Travellers get away with way too much.
 

richp007

Distinguished Member
Cases like this - amongst some others - do make me question my stance against capital punishment.

At times there is no other punishment that can fit.

As his family now serve their own life sentence too. Knowing what happened to him.
 

Sonic67

Banned
If you look at the location you can see tracks and woods. Probably not the hardest place to hide a quad bike or anything else.

Put in Google Maps.

Four Horses Corner Caravan Site. Reading Rd, Ufton Nervet, Reading RG7 4QJ

God knows how his family are today. If we ever did have the death penalty back, I'd pay to be pulling the lever.
 

Sonic67

Banned
Sky's report Jordan Milne @JEMilneSky Note it's a huge report covering several hours. This is some of it.

Jordan Milne (@JEMilneSky) on Twitter
Court returns and Altman QC instructs the jury that they should not be surprised if there are differences of detail in the accounts the witnesses give of what they saw or heard. He says “it only reflects what we all know about human nature and our ability to observe and remember

Altman QC says the SEAT was seen by several people not far from Cock Lane on 15th Aug. The witnesses noticed several unusual things about the car and it’s occupants.

A witness on foot saw the car with three of four males in it. She says the rear seat passenger was wearing glasses - the man not involved in these proceedings.

A female witness driving her car, said she saw the car around 4.45pm. She said she noticed blue tape wrapped round both front and rear number plates of the car. She fought there were at least 3 people in the car.

Another woman, who was going home by car around 4.50pm saw the car driving towards her. She said it had “royal blue” tape covering the front and rear number plate.

This witness says she found the whole thing “scary and intimidating”.

Another female witness who was on a bicycle around 5pm said she saw the car and thought it seemed fully occupied, both front and back. She saw the front seat passenger was wearing a hooded top with the hood up and a bandana or scarf around his face.

Altman QC now turns to the owner of the residential property where the quad bike was taken. At the time of the incident he was refurbishing the house and so it looked “like a building site”.

Altman QC adds there are no neighbours in close proximity to the house. In the corner of the driveway alongside the garage of the property was the quad bike, which the owner of the house had had since April 2019. It cost him £10,000.

............................................................................

Altman QC says, when the car passes in the opposite direction, not only do the number plates appear to be masked with something blue in colour, but also the boot lid can be seen to be visibly raised - “in order to steal and tow the quad bike away”.

The Bull Inn CCTV captured the car passing again at some pace, driving away from the residential property with the boot lid still raised, the number plates taped over.

Altman QC says “there is no question that the witnesses who saw that the number plates had been taped over were right. The CCTV supports it and seven rolls of tape were found in both rear footwell of the car when it was later searched by the police.”

The jury are now being shown pictures of the interior of the car where the jury are being shown the location of each of the seven rolls of tape.



............................................................

When the boot of the car was later searched by police, a large number of items which could be carried and used as weapons were found - 3 crowbars, a large axe with a wooden handle, a pair of choppers, a hammer and some piping

The jury are now being shown images of the items found in the boot of the car.

Altman QC says that Mr Wallis’s first impression was in fact the right one. That the defendants took items with them to be used as weapons and carried them openly.

Altman QC asks why they needed items that could be used as weapons. He says the answer is a simple one, to use them, if necessary.

Altman QC reminds the jury of what happened earlier in the day. Mr Wallis had challenged the men during their first attempt on his property that day. One of the men had been aggressive in response but had learned that the occupier was someone not easily intimidated.

Altman QC suggests the men were ready, as part of their planning, if necessary, to use the items they had brought with them as weapons, of anyone stood in their way.

“Constable Harper did try to stand in their way, and he lid the ultimate price for it.”

..................................................

23:28:40 is the time PC Harper left the car.

Altman QC describes the time it took PC Shaw to reverse his car so that it was facing the right direction - in the direction the defendants car had driven off.

Altman QC says, as PC Shaw drives in the direction of the A4, the jury can see there is a bright moon in the sky.

At 23:29:55, which was over a minute after PC Harper had left the car, PC Shaw stopped the police car as he came across on the road what he first took to be a rucksack, it was in fact PC Harper’s stab vest in two parts.

At this point PC Shaw turned on the car’s siren. The audio makes clear the siren is sounding. PC Shaw threw the stab vest on the back seat.

Altman QC directs the attention of the jury to the trail, the snaking, undulating trail.

If Henry Long claims, says Altman QC, he drive as he did, not to dislodge PC Harper from the crane strap but because he was being chased by a police car, you are going to have to take a long hard look at that claim.

Altman QC states “not only is it clear that Long made off at reckless speed for that road but PC Shaw was never in pursuit of them, and Long, and his co-accuser, would have known it”.

PC Shaw had to reverse up slowly, turn the car around and stopped for a number of seconds to pick up the stab vest.

He turned off his blue and white emergency lights with the siren - by which time PC Harper had been dragged to his death for over a mile, becoming disentangled from the crane strap in Ufton Lane where he died.

....................................................................

Altman QC says In trying to apprehend 17 year old B, PC Harper ran into the trailing loop of the crane strap, which was on the road surface and as Long accelerated away, PC Harper’s feet and ankles became caught in it.

For PC Shaw, the best way to describe the way he disappeared from vide (view?) was to compare it to his experience of water skiing. When you lose tour footing, your feet are almost whipped forward and you land of your back.

PC Harper was dragged behind that car for precisely 1.0766 miles.

The measurements were taken between the point where PC Harper was last seen on the Cleartone footage and the point where he was found on the road.

By comparing the time PC Harper was last seen and the time the first person (a police officer) first radioed in seeing the body in the road is some 91 seconds.

That means the average speed at which the SEAT car was being driven along that dark, rural country lane was a little over 42.5mph.

Altman QC suggests the bulk of the driving would have been at an even faster speed.

Altman QC adds there is no CCTV evidence of this part of the incident but one witness provides a flavour of it, a local resident was walking his dog in a field close to where this happened.

He says he heard tyres screeching, which sounded like a wheel without a tyre on it and he could hear the sound of something hitting the hedgerow, which he described as if the driver was drunk, perhaps and driving down the road hitting the sides of the road as they drove.

He said he heard noises of banging into the hedges for about 20 seconds. Altman QC says what he didn’t appreciate was hat the noises he heard were made by the car and PC Harper being dragged behind it striking objects along the sides of the road.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Some of the details coming out are harrowing, they showed a total disregard for life and should be punished with full life tariffs. I don't believe in the state taking a life. A life sentence should be exactly that, you only leave in a wooden box.
 

richp007

Distinguished Member
Some of the details coming out are harrowing, they showed a total disregard for life and should be punished with full life tariffs. I don't believe in the state taking a life. A life sentence should be exactly that, you only leave in a wooden box.
I agree, but we know that's not going to happen. It'll be life, but actually that just means 30 years, and then maybe a chance they serve less. All out before they're 50 with years still ahead of them.

PC Harper doesn't get his future. Died in the most horrific circumstances, and they've destroyed the life of his new wife too, and the rest of his family's lives.

Should justice not at least match the crime? If it doesn't, do we not ultimately give favour to the perpetrator over the victim?

Probably sounds like I'm advocating for capital punishment, but I'm not. I am in principle against it.

However I admit the conundrum above does on occasion given me pause for thought. On this I also think back to the cases of Baby P and Victoria Climbie. How do we measure justice?

Alas they are wider thoughts for discussion in another thread, another day.
 

Backspace

Well-known Member
It's pretty much the same in the US. Punishments did not fit the crimes.
 

Leo31291

Distinguished Member
Trying to look at this as subjectively as I can. The loop became fixed on Harpers foot by accident and with the adrenaline of youth the offenders drove away recklessly trying to shake him loose. It's not cold calculated murder.
 

Sonic67

Banned
Trying to look at this as subjectively as I can. The loop became fixed on Harpers foot by accident and with the adrenaline of youth the offenders drove away recklessly trying to shake him loose. It's not cold calculated murder.
You might not be aware at first. They seemed to be aware when they were zigzagging down the road at 40mph for over a mile. An action that will result in death. That is murder.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Trying to look at this as subjectively as I can. The loop became fixed on Harpers foot by accident and with the adrenaline of youth the offenders drove away recklessly trying to shake him loose. It's not cold calculated murder.
They knew he was there, hence the deliberate actions to try and shake him loose. Even after a hundred feet or so the poor guy would have been so badly injured he would probably not have been able to make an arrest. Cut him loose let him live would have been the correct decision. To carry on knowing he was there is murder in my book.

Besides that all emergency workers need to law to give them the utmost protection by the courts. Everyone deserves to go home at the end of their shift.
 

Sonic67

Banned
Besides that all emergency workers need to law to give them the utmost protection by the courts. Everyone deserves to go home at the end of their shift.
He didn't even have to be there. He died around 23.30. His shift ended at 19.00


Known to his colleagues as 'Harps' PC Harper was due to finish his shift at 7pm with colleague PC Andrew Shaw.

But on the way back to base they decided to do one final job, a choice which cost PC Harper his life.
 

Leo31291

Distinguished Member
You might not be aware at first. They seemed to be aware when they were zigzagging down the road at 40mph for over a mile. An action that will result in death. That is murder.
Exactly they were weaving for a reason. This is manslaughter.
 

Davidc7230

Active Member
I remembered we had a thread for this, so will post this here. Personally I'm appalled at the verdicts. Can't even begin to imagine how the family feel.

Did the CPS go for the manslaughter conviction as it was easier to prove than murder? The fact the Jury had to have protection from intimidation says a lot about the (lack of) Character from these boys.
 

richp007

Distinguished Member
Did the CPS go for the manslaughter conviction as it was easier to prove than murder? The fact the Jury had to have protection from intimidation says a lot about the (lack of) Character from these boys.
As far as I can tell they went out for murder but the jury only convicted on manslaughter. I'm at a loss really with regards to that. Sentencing is next week, and I'm not confident that's going to represent justice for Harper or his family.
 

Autopilot

Distinguished Member
Disgraceful, manslaughter should never have even been on the table. They could be out in 4 years.

Never mind his screams, there is no way that not a single one of them didn’t look at out of the rear window.

This is a perfect example of why the alternative charge rule is contentious and problematic. A tired and weary jury can be tempted to get things over with, and go with the lesser charge if they all agree. It can also put further doubt a juries minds, as the prosecution look like they are hedging their bets and not confident. The case can become about bumping it down, rather than just proving guilt per se. I don’t think it’s fair on either the accused or the victim, I never have. I would rather see a system like they have in the US, of first, second and sometimes even third degree murder.

I expect this will put future officers lives in danger.

RIP Andrew.
 
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