Condolancies to PC Harpers family

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
He was given 24 years. His age and plea took it down to 16. He can apply for release no earlier than 10 yrs 8 mths. If that's denied he serves the full 16.
Thank you for the clarification although ten years also seems woefully inadequate IMHO.
 

Thug

Moderator
This had me in tears...

🚨 Statement released on behalf of Deborah Adlam, mother of PC Andrew Harper 🚨

“I’m Mum to PC Andrew Harper.

“My blue eyed rosy cheeked, funny and wonderful first born son.

“You have no idea how glad I am the trial has now finished. The results are what they are, and now we have to try and live the rest of our lives without Andrew and instead with a huge heavy weight in our broken hearts.
“I’m unable to explain the enormity of what I am feeling and struggling with since we were woken on 16th August 2019 with a knock on the door, 4.45am.
“Andrew was gone. Killed in the line of duty.
“Trying to accept this is a daily struggle and we have barely begun.
“The detail since then has been utterly dreadful and I do not think we will ever come to terms with it.
“My fit healthy happy brilliant son died purely because these boys chose to steal a quad bike. I personally have not seen, heard or felt a glimmer of any remorse. In fact, we have seen the opposite, with Long, Bowers and Cole repeatedly laughing and showing a complete lack of respect during the court proceedings.
“My family and I feel broken - can you imagine any of your loved ones suffering such a terrible end and with such indignity? The pain we now live with is endless, Andrew was literally ripped from our family while we slept.
“I often just wander round my house, not knowing what to do with myself - because I cannot do anything that helps. I have not been able to work for fear of breaking down. I hardly sleep, waking every hour or so every night, I have no motivation for even daily routine chores such as cooking a meal. It just all feels pointless. This is my new normal, my reality and I desperately fear losing my other son or my step-daughter. I’m told this is a natural reaction.
“All the excitement for Andrew’s future has been taken so cruelly away. He will never get to be called Daddy, and hold his own child, and we’d imagined there was a good chance that was not too far away in the future. Andrew has always loved children, since a young boy we have many photos with his big toothy grin, lovingly holding a baby niece or nephew.
“Andrew’s brother is trying to continue with his life in a way that he knows Andrew would want for him. They were best friends as well as brothers. They would holiday together and spend many hours bouncing off each other with laughter whether on the Xbox or rollerblading, and play fighting was always lively especially when they reached their twenties and it continued! My 6ft 5ins giants hitting each other hard while roaring with laughter! They just loved it. And I loved listening to them.
“I had to wake his brother that morning on the 16th August and tell him his brother was gone.
“Andrew’s younger step-sister has spent the last few months looking out for me despite losing her big brother. She looked up to him and adored him as did Andrew’s whole family including grandparents and Andrew’s step-dad among others. We will all now have to live with what has happened. This has caused a ripple effect which has had such a huge impact on so many of Andrew’s family members and friends.
“Andrew was such a good man. A brave and caring person, so funny and uplifting, whose actions have positively impacted many lives. I love and miss him dearly, daily and with every passing moment.
“The only thing I know for sure, is no matter what, Andrew will remain our pride and joy and will be loved forever. My heart may be broken but you will always be in the centre of it.
“I would like to thank the QC’s and Thames Valley Police force for the hard and endless hours of work to bring the case to court. It has been so difficult for many of you knowing what you do about what happened. I also say thank you to our Family Liaison Officers for helping me through some of the darkest days I have ever experienced. I don’t know how I would still be here without you.
“My tribute also is to all decent and brave serving officers who live their lives protecting others. In these challenging times for the Police, each of you belong to someone and I hope they get to keep you safe and sound. I am so proud of you all.
“To each of the officers and paramedics, and all who looked after Andrew in his last few moments and the days that followed. I thank you so much. You were there when he needed you the most and you were there for him. I hope you find peace and comfort in knowing this.
“Thank you as well to all the members of the public who have offered so much support and who continue to do so. I am so grateful that so many people have thought about Andrew and have taken the time to pay their respects to him. I have taken such a lot of comfort from this.
“Rest In Eternal Peace Andrew - please visit if you can 💙 Mum x.”
I missed autumn
I bowed my head for a while
When we lost you
And like autumn you were gone x
 

richp007

Distinguished Member
His family now serve their own life sentences.

So for me this verdict isn't even close to justice.

There's also something the judge said as well that I find disturbing.

The maximum sentence for manslaughter is 24 years, according to the sentencing guidelines.

The judge told getaway driver Henry Long, 19, that he would have received this sentence if he was 'a few years older' but it had been discounted because of his age, and due to his guilty plea.


I hate that term discounted, but the important thing here is that is a 19 year old not considered an adult? What difference does a "few more years" make in this case?
 

shodan

Distinguished Member
Sentencing guidelines are very clear and very strict and must be followed. There is some wriggle room inside them, but only within each category.
They are also used to cut down on appeals against sentencing as they take the emotive response out of sentencing.
 

Thug

Moderator
Just as matter of interest do people think that increasing their sentences by amy number of years will act as a deterrent .
Deterrent or not, they have killed someone, taken their life away, they will NEVER come back, they dragged this person probably screaming behind their car for about a mile and have showed no remorse and even LAUGHED about it, and need to have a sentence to fit their crime.
As it stands, they could be out of jail still younger than the young man they killed.
If someone wants to kill someone, the consequences may be the last thing they think about. They will do it regardless.
 

Thug

Moderator
Absolutely, but let’s not pretend long or short sentences are a deterrent or encouragement

They are a punishment
But they will deter most decent/average people.
If you knew that you could pinch £1,000,000 and go to jail for 6 months (out after 3) it may be worth the risk. If you knew you would go to jail for 10 years you may not be as tempted.
Ok, thats an extreme, but you get the point.

Sentences should be a punishment for those not deterred.
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
How about I suggest that it's not so much the amount of time you are held in prison that would be the deterrent but how your time in prison actually is.
I've joked to work friends that done jobs at my workplace prisoners would not be allowed or expected to do due to health/safety/boredom reasons.
I have a feeling most people, including myself think prison is like Ronnie Barker in porridge at Slade prison. Yet I've heard people have give into a prison, perhaps lower security ones and been amazed/shocked at how nice it is.

An I saying I'd like to see prison to be such a horrid/terrible place to be?
Perhaps yes.
 

Marv

Member
Just as matter of interest do people think that increasing their sentences by amy number of years will act as a deterrent .
Wont deter people or stop it happening again unfortunately but if these guys get 30 years or more it will wipe the smiles off their faces and give them a more fitting punishment.
 

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
Absolutely, but let’s not pretend long or short sentences are a deterrent or encouragement

They are a punishment
Sentences have many purposes - retribution, rehabilitation, justice, deterrence, protection of the public and pursuance of public interests. I would argue a long sentence in this case primarily serves retribution, protection of the public from career criminals and public interest, namely the need to show society supports its frontline workers.
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
Lots of people end up in prison = Prison is not bad unpleasant enough to act as a deterrent.

We all commit crimes, be it taking a pencil from work, not paying for a music track, not paying a car park fee if we are just popping into a shop for 2 mins. We do so because the punishment is not enough to deter us.

But society has deemed this to be the case and prisons are not supposed to be unpleasent. It's the denial of freedom that is the punishment. Not the quality of the time whilst in there.

Honestly if I was homeless, sleeping round on the streets I'd probably commit some minor crime to get into prison.
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
Length of sentence & quality of accommodation will be no deterrent to scum like this. They are multi-generational career criminals with a sense of entitlement to their way of life, that often literally places them above the law. They don't think they'll get caught but are willing to go to any extreme to evade capture if they are. Even once charged the "community" are then all too happy to engage in witness/jury intimidation to avoid conviction. They have absolutely no sense of right & wrong & there is zero chance of rehabilitation. They will be back to their theiving ways within a week of release & won't give a second thought to again doing whatever is necessary to evade the law.
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
How about this:
There is a range of deterrents from a mild telling off, past a kick in the nuts, through removing a hand, and all the way to death via a painful means.

If a crime attracts a punishment that is not working and not a deterrent, then the punishment needs to be gradually increased to a level where it works for that vast vast majority of people.

Wee all know the problem is the punishments are not severe enough. And we don't have the social guts to impose anything harsh enough.
 

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
Increasing the physical harshness of the sentence is no guarantee of a different result. Two hundred years ago we had the death penalty or deportation as punishments for even fairly low level crimes but they still happened.

As for prison not being unpleasant - I would argue losing your liberty is more profound than many people realise. Being told what you can eat, when you can eat it, when you can go outside, having your daily routine dictated for you, not having free communications with friends/relatives, being subject to some fairly authoritarian dictates, having to wear issued clothes, not having privacy during use of your ablutions etc etc. And being denied the many things that we all enjoy - fresh air, greenery, the chance to go for a walk/run outside, socialising/drinking etc etc. Try enduring that day after day after day.
 

Marv

Member
Length of sentence & quality of accommodation will be no deterrent to scum like this. They are multi-generational career criminals with a sense of entitlement to their way of life, that often literally places them above the law. They don't think they'll get caught but are willing to go to any extreme to evade capture if they are. Even once charged the "community" are then all too happy to engage in witness/jury intimidation to avoid conviction. They have absolutely no sense of right & wrong & there is zero chance of rehabilitation. They will be back to their theiving ways within a week of release & won't give a second thought to again doing whatever is necessary to evade the law.
Spot on these guys will go back to being criminals weather they get 16 years or 30 years. Denying them there freedom and preventing the from commuting crime is the only purspose prison will serve them.

I've had lots of dealing with travellers this year and one even told me as he sat in his untaxed vehicle and i informed him that he was on cctv. "I'am a gypsie and i can do what i want and the police are scared of me."

And he was right he came back again and again and the police and dvla were not interested.

Its the way these people are.
 

phil t

Well-known Member
I would argue losing your liberty is more profound than many people realise. Being told what you can eat, when you can eat it, when you can go outside, having your daily routine dictated for you, not having free communications with friends/relatives, being subject to some fairly authoritarian dictates, having to wear issued clothes, not having privacy during use of your ablutions etc etc. And being denied the many things that we all enjoy - fresh air, greenery, the chance to go for a walk/run outside, socialising/drinking etc etc. Try enduring that day after day after day.
Sounds like a deterrent patrol, to me. Only 90 days though.
 

WeeScottishLass

Well-known Member
The criminal system is very messed up but I don't know what the solution is.

I do believe in rehabilitation and that in the end of the day it costs society less to see them learn life skills and deal with all the things that led them to committing the crimes in the first place.

But the way they were laughing was so insulting and insensitive and rude and just awful.

I do think though that whilst some of us think prison is easy, I don't think it actually is based on the people I know who have been and described what it is like (ex drug addicts on an alcoholic and addict group).

One of the admin was regularly in and out and had time with baby p's mother and says it was awful. Having your liberty taken away is huge but if you are stuck in that cycle of addiction it can be very hard to escape.

She's now clean 6 years but says prison was not an easy ride at all and has extra PTSD from her time there.
 

mooperman

Distinguished Member
Increasing the physical harshness of the sentence is no guarantee of a different result. Two hundred years ago we had the death penalty or deportation as punishments for even fairly low level crimes but they still happened.

As for prison not being unpleasant - I would argue losing your liberty is more profound than many people realise. Being told what you can eat, when you can eat it, when you can go outside, having your daily routine dictated for you, not having free communications with friends/relatives, being subject to some fairly authoritarian dictates, having to wear issued clothes, not having privacy during use of your ablutions etc etc. And being denied the many things that we all enjoy - fresh air, greenery, the chance to go for a walk/run outside, socialising/drinking etc etc. Try enduring that day after day after day.
exactly this... look how many freaked out having to spend a couple of months in their own homes with the recent lockdown...

I find most who proclaim prison to be easy holiday camps are usually ones that have never been there or absolute scutters who are in and out all the time (even though the latter still do their best to avoid it despite being apparently 'easy').
 

richp007

Distinguished Member
Having read quite a bit about the case now (some of it is awful), it's still very simple for me. It was murder, and the sentences they received were woefully inadequate.

I've still not been able to find much of an answer as to why a 19 year old would be treated any differently than say a 21 year old. Particularly in a case as serious as this. And maximum manslaughter sentences should have been handed out, given how the judge himself said this was very close to being a murder case.

No doubt these thugs knew exactly what they were doing and knew that someone couldn't possibly survive what they did. And they've shown no remorse.

It's been a victory for the criminal and a kick in the teeth for the Harper family.
 

WeeScottishLass

Well-known Member
Having read quite a bit about the case now (some of it is awful), it's still very simple for me. It was murder, and the sentences they received were woefully inadequate.

I've still not been able to find much of an answer as to why a 19 year old would be treated any differently than say a 21 year old. Particularly in a case as serious as this. And maximum manslaughter sentences should have been handed out, given how the judge himself said this was very close to being a murder case.

No doubt these thugs knew exactly what they were doing and knew that someone couldn't possibly survive what they did. And they've shown no remorse.

It's been a victory for the criminal and a kick in the teeth for the Harper family.
I don't think you can apply the same rationality and reasonable thinking that you and I might have, though.

Yes, they knew what they were doing in wanting to steal but in the moment of getting caught up and the adrenaline, in my opinion, they were thinking of themselves and not out to specifically murder anyone.

Although their lack of remorse is disgraceful a win for them would be them avoiding jail completely.

That's my thinking anyway.
 

richp007

Distinguished Member
I don't think you can apply the same rationality and reasonable thinking that you and I might have, though.

Yes, they knew what they were doing in wanting to steal but in the moment of getting caught up and the adrenaline, in my opinion, they were thinking of themselves and not out to specifically murder anyone.

Although their lack of remorse is disgraceful a win for them would be them avoiding jail completely.

That's my thinking anyway.
On this then we shall have to agree to disagree.

The fact they get the rest of their lives back - likely sooner rather than later as well - is a win for them. PC Harper and his family will never get their lives back.

Who are the guilty ones here, and who has ended up paying the higher price?

Just my opinion, but I hope the sentences are reviewed and much longer incarceration is apportioned.
 

Thug

Moderator
A friend of mine who worked in a prison once said to me...
"criminals are in prison as a punishment, and not in prison to be punished".
And this is true, but i also think that being inside of prison is not as bad for the hardened criminal as people think, and not a deterrent at all, but an occupational hazard.
Should they be punished whilst in there? Possibly, but how, i dont know.
I also agree that some of the punishment they may get may be no worse that the daily work some decent working people do as a way to feed their family.
They have to have meal breaks, they have to have time to exercise of relax. Lots of people who work dont get that luxury at all.

As for prison not being unpleasant - I would argue losing your liberty is more profound than many people realise. Being told what you can eat, when you can eat it, when you can go outside, having your daily routine dictated for you, not having free communications with friends/relatives, being subject to some fairly authoritarian dictates, having to wear issued clothes, not having privacy during use of your ablutions etc etc. And being denied the many things that we all enjoy - fresh air, greenery, the chance to go for a walk/run outside, socialising/drinking etc etc. Try enduring that day after day after day.
That sounds very much like the old peoples home my father is in at the moment and this costs him £800 per week for the privilege of it, where prisoners get this for free.

Like prisoners, he has lost his liberty.
Like prisoners he is given a choice of what to eat.
Like prisoners he can only go outside when he is allowed to.
Like prisoners all the doors are locked leading outside.
Like prisoners he cant have visitors (ok, due to covid, but he can ring them).
Like prisoners he doesn't have privacy.
Like prisoners he cant go out for fresh air when he wants (but prisoners do go out daily, unlike my father).
Like prisoners he cant go out and socialise (again, due to covid).

There is a surprising similarity to being elderly and being a prisoner.
 

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
That sounds very much like the old peoples home my father is in at the moment and this costs him £800 per week for the privilege of it, where prisoners get this for free.

Like prisoners, he has lost his liberty.
Like prisoners he is given a choice of what to eat.
Like prisoners he can only go outside when he is allowed to.
Like prisoners all the doors are locked leading outside.
Like prisoners he cant have visitors (ok, due to covid, but he can ring them).
Like prisoners he doesn't have privacy.
Like prisoners he cant go out for fresh air when he wants (but prisoners do go out daily, unlike my father).
Like prisoners he cant go out and socialise (again, due to covid).

There is a surprising similarity to being elderly and being a prisoner.
We've all got the experience to look forward to then! :eek: Seriously there is a lot of truth in that and likewise your comments about equivalence with a hardworking family man. The only thing I would push back on the latter is that that family man has just that - a family. From my perspective, and I suspect for many, the consequence of long term imprisonment would be the lack of an opportunity for a family. Think of the moments and years you would miss from your children's lives. That would be a very significant punishment. Of course the punishments in this case are so lenient that the individuals will be out young enough to start a family.
 

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