Andrew Harper justice ‘failed’ – 22 MPs demand tougher sentence for killers

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Twenty-two Tories warn that “justice has failed to prevail” and are urging Attorney General Suella Braverman to refer the case to the Court of Appeal and recommend that a full life term should be served.

PC Harper was killed last August when he was dragged for more than a mile behind a car after trying to intercept quad bike thieves.

The officer had been married for just four weeks. His wife, Lissie, has said she is now in a “lost and endless world”.

Getaway car driver Henry Long was jailed for 16 years for manslaughter. His accomplices, Albert Bowers and Jessie Cole, received 13 years for manslaughter.

MPs including former security minister Sir John Hayes, ex-Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers, former Welsh Secretary David Jones, ex-international development minister Sir Desmond Swayne, Sir David Amess and Sir Edward Leigh have urged the Attorney General to push for a stronger sentence.

They state: “We write to you with great sadness that justice has failed to prevail in a British court, leaving the innocent without closure and the vicious emboldened. 

“From the outset, it is strikingly clear [there] were coordinated attempts by supporters of the accused to distort and derail the court case.

“[We] hope that you will investigate the conduct of the trial by seeking information from the Crown Prosecution Service to establish whether the proceedings were improper and whether accordingly the verdict is unsound.

“We (feel) that following their conviction for manslaughter, the sentence passed, given the character and circumstances of this crime, is unduly lenient. 

“In the public interest, we therefore urge you to exercise your power to refer this to the Court of Appeal and to make representations that the sentence be increased to the maximum for manslaughter – life, with a recommendation that the full term be served.”

Ashfield Conservative MP Lee Anderson, one of the signatories to the letter, said: “I’m speechless, to be honest – gobsmacked – at the whole event… These criminals have shown absolutely no remorse during the whole trial.”

Pressing for the criminals to receive a life sentence, he said: “This young man went to work to do his bit, as policemen do every single day in this country to keep us safe, and he didn’t come home – and these people that have gone to prison, they should never go home now.”

Sir John Hayes said there were “significant question marks” about the verdict, as the convicted trio may only serve around half their sentences.

He said: “[This] is a case where right needs to be done and be seen to be done.”

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