Pc Andrew Harper's wife criticises 'misleading' claims on social media

The widow of Pc Andrew Harper has sought to dispel “misleading” and “deliberately harmful” claims about her campaign for a new law meaning those who kill emergency workers are jailed for life.

Lissie Harper wrote in a blog post that she was “immensely grateful” for the public’s support of an online petition calling for Harper’s Law, which was approaching 650,000 signatures as of Sunday morning.

However, Mrs Harper said she wanted to address some “incorrect statements” that were circulating on social media in relation to the campaign.

“I have no intention of providing running commentaries but it’s important to right some wrongs that are being said,” she said.

“Harper’s Law will be a law in 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. Details we plan to discuss with politicians and decision makers soon.

“Harper’s Law is not asking for whole life orders, nor has it ever mentioned a life sentence for manslaughter.

“Any suggestion that this is what we are asking for is misleading, deliberately harmful and incorrect. I have no plans to strive for any legislation of this sort.”

She added: “It goes without saying that I am driven by the heinous killing of my brave husband and the safety of his colleagues in the future.”

Mrs Harper is due to meet with Home Secretary Priti Patel next month for talks in an effort to harness political support for the new law.

She and her 28-year-old husband, a Thames Valley Police offer, had been married for just four weeks when he and a colleague responded to a late-night burglary in Sulhamstead, Berkshire, in August last year.

Emphasising that it was a “personal campaign”, Mrs Harper said she was “hugely grateful” for the support and backing of Thames Valley Police Federation and Pc Harper’s colleagues across England and Wales.

“However, let me say again that this is my endeavour and I take on all responsibility (and any resistance should it come) towards it,” she added.

It comes after a judiciary spokesman confirmed that Henry Long, one of Pc Harper’s killers, had applied for permission to appeal against his 16-year prison sentence.

His co-accused, Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers, both 18, have also lodged applications seeking permission to challenge their convictions and their 13-year prison sentences.

All three were acquitted of murder but sentenced for the lesser charge of manslaughter after Pc Harper got caught in a crane strap attached to the back of a car driven by Long, and was dragged to his death along dark country lanes.

The prison sentences 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.

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