Newlywed officer killed in ‘mindless’ crime
● Ten people arrested on suspicion of murder after PC dragged along by vehicle
PC Andrew Harper and his wife Lissie celebrating their wedding four weeks ago. Yesterday ten people were arrested on suspicion of murder after he died following a “serious incident”.
The policeman killed investigating reports of a burglary in Berkshire was a 28-yearold newlywed who had been dragged along by a vehicle before he died.
Ten people have been arrested on suspicion of murder after PC Andrew Harper died following a “serious incident” at 11:30pm on Thursday near the A4 Bath Road, between Reading and Newbury, at the village of Sulhamstead.
Thames Valley Police said boys and men aged between 13 and 30 remained in custody at various police stations in the force area.
At a press conference yesterday, Chief Constable John Campbell said PC Harper was at the scene with another officer and was out of his police car when the incident occurred, adding: “What we do know is Andrew had been dragged along by a vehicle.”
He said the suspects had been detained within about an hour of the incident and officers were working “hard and diligently to find out what happened”.
A post-mortem examination was taking place to establish the cause of death.
Mr Campbell said that, because it was a live investigation, only limited details could be provided at this stage.
He said PC Harper joined as a special constable in 2010 before becoming a police officer a year later, serving in the roads policing pro-active unit based at Abingdon police station in Oxfordshire.
He added that the constable “only married four weeks ago”.
Pictures show PC Harper and his new wife Lissie celebrating their wedding at Ardington House, a Georgian manor set in gardens and parkland, in Oxfordshire.
Relatives described the day as a “dream wedding”.
Mr Campbell said PC Harper was a “highly regarded, popular member of the team”.
His death represents a “significant loss” to Thames Valley Police and “also to his colleagues and friends”, he said, adding: “The officer was well known across the force so it is felt very personally and it is felt very personally by the whole police family across the UK.”
Mr Campbell added: “My thanks go to all those staff and officers who attended this incident, as well as our colleagues at the fire service and also the ambulance service for their professionalism and support at what you can imagine was obviously a distressing scene.”
He said the force’s flags were flying at half-mast as a sign of respect “in honour and memory of Andrew”.
The incident took place at the crossroads of Ufton Lane and Lambdens Hill, near Sulhamstead, close to Bucklebury, where Carole and Michael Middleton, the mother and father of the Duchess of Cambridge, live.
Officers remained at the scene of the incident, which was cordoned off while evidence was gathered.
Yesterday, forensic investigators could be seen gathering items that lay on the road and taking photographs. Two white tents had also been erected.
Police were also seen searching the inside of a grey BMW at the scene, according to witnesses.
Forensic investigators at the crime scene in the Berkshire village of Sulhamstead. Above right: Chief Constable John Campbell addresses the media