Daily Mail

Priti probes ‘soft’ jail terms for killing po­lice

Fresh hope for Harper’s Law after talks with PC’s widow

- By David Bar­rett Home Af­fairs Cor­re­spon­dent Crime

prITI pa­tel will launch an of­fi­cial re­view into sen­tenc­ing for crim­i­nals who kill of­fi­cers after meet­ing pC An­drew Harper’s widow to­day.

Lissie Harper has cam­paigned for a new law mean­ing those who kill emer­gency work­ers are jailed for life.

And the Home Sec­re­tary is said to be ‘fully sup­port­ive’ of calls for tougher jail terms.

Mrs Harper and the po­lice Fed­er­a­tion have de­manded ‘Harper’s Law’ in mem­ory of the 28-year-old pC who was killed by a gang of three teenage thieves last year.

Jus­tice Sec­re­tary robert Buck­land will also join the high­level meet­ing tak­ing place at the Home Of­fice this morn­ing.

And sources said once min­is­ters have lis­tened to Mrs Harper, they will com­mis­sion a re­view into judges’ sen­tenc­ing pow­ers.

‘priti at­tended pC Harper’s funeral as one of her first acts in this role and she is pretty scarred by the whole thing,’ said a Home Of­fice source.

‘Min­is­ters are go­ing to of­fi­cially re­view sen­tenc­ing for killing a po­lice of­fi­cer and look­ing very care­fully at the pro­pos­als put for­ward by Mrs Harper.

‘The Home Sec­re­tary is fully sup­port­ive of their cause and stands fully be­hind Mrs Harper.’

A pe­ti­tion calling for ‘Harper’s Law’ has al­ready gath­ered nearly 650,000 sig­na­tures.

Mrs Harper yes­ter­day clar­i­fied what the law would en­tail.

She wrote: ‘Harper’s Law will be a law which 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 then they would be jailed for life.

‘This means that a life sen­tence would be im­posed, ask­ing for a min­i­mum term in prison. Harper’s Law is not ask­ing for whole life or­ders.’

She added she is driven ‘ by the heinous killing of my brave hus­band and the safety of his col­leagues in the fu­ture’.

Last week the Daily Mail re­vealed the tax­payer footed the £465,769 legal aid bill for the gang which killed pC Harper by drag­ging him be­hind a car.

All three killers – ring­leader Henry Long, 19, and his ac­com­plices Al­bert Bow­ers and Jessie Cole, both 18 – have sub­mit­ted new legal chal­lenges.

Long ap­plied for per­mis­sion to ap­peal against his 16- year prison sen­tence last week. He ad­mit­ted man­slaugh­ter but was cleared of mur­der.

Cole and Bow­ers had al­ready lodged ap­pli­ca­tions seek­ing per­mis­sion to chal­lenge their man­slaugh­ter con­vic­tions and their 13-year prison sen­tences.

Sep­a­rately, the jail terms given to all three have al­ready been re­ferred to the Court of Ap­peal by the At­tor­ney Gen­eral for judges to de­cide whether they were too le­nient.

They will all have to serve at least two-thirds of their sen­tence in jail be­fore they are el­i­gi­ble for re­lease.

This means Long could be out in just ten years and eight months and the two oth­ers could be freed in as lit­tle as eight-and-a-half years.

The Harpers wed just a month be­fore the Thames Valley po­lice of­fi­cer was killed after re­spond­ing to an emer­gency call in Berk­shire last year.

 ??  ?? Newly wed: The Harpers
Newly wed: The Harpers
 ??  ?? ‘Don’t go back to school, son – your mother will make ME go back into the of­fice’ To order a print of this Paul Thomas car­toon or one by Pugh, visit Mailpic­tures.newsprints.co.uk or call 0191 6030 178.
‘Don’t go back to school, son – your mother will make ME go back into the of­fice’ To order a print of this Paul Thomas car­toon or one by Pugh, visit Mailpic­tures.newsprints.co.uk or call 0191 6030 178.

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