PC Harper’s mum rages at vile ‘blue lives murder’ T-shirts sold on Amazon after hero son slain in line of duty

PC Andrew Harper’s devastated mum has slammed sick “blue lives murder” T-shirts sold on Amazon after her hero son was killed in the line of duty.

Deborah Adlam shared a petition to stop the online shopping giant from flogging the vile garment.

The £18.999 T-shirts are emblazoned with the slogan ‘Blue Lives Murder’ and have become popular in the wake of George Floyd’s brutal death in the US at the hands of the police.

Deborah posted a link to the petition page on her Facebook last month during the trial over her son’s death.

She wrote: “Please sign share the hell out of this… stop Amazon. If this goes ahead I will. Never buy from them again.”

Amazon has been blasted for refusing to remove the anti-police merchandise from its site and have been accused of trying to “provoke tension”.

A spokesman said: “Amazon has strict guidelines in place and follows the local laws of every country we operate in. We also have public policies for third-party sellers, so that they understand the standards we expect of them.

“We have policies governing offensive and controversial materials which are posted publicly, and we invest significant time and resources to ensure our content guidelines are followed.”

Deborah had previously paid tribute to her hero son after he was dragged to his death while responding to a quad bike theft.

She said: “We are devastated and bereft but, as Andrew always lived with dignity, honour and calmness, we intend to grieve in this way.

“A big part of me has gone with you. I cannot imagine our lives going forward, but we will do so with Andrew in our hearts.”

It comes amid mounting fury after three teen thugs were cleared of the hero cop’s murder yesterday.

Henry Long, 19, Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers, both 18, were instead found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter following a trial.

The verdict has now been slammed as sticking “two fingers up at the criminal justice system” by chairman of the Police Federation John Apter.

He fumed: “What we see far too often is offenders who assault police officers or any emergency worker, who are then let off with nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

“There’s got to be a deterrent, these are violent individuals. I support the increase but the increase in sentencing is worthless if it doesn’t go hand in hand with a complete review and overhaul of the sentencing guidelines.

“At the moment it’s almost the exception that people go to prison, that should be turned around. The exception should be that you don’t go to prison.”

Family friend Andy Ledbury also blasted the manslaughter verdict and said he believes the teens should have been found guilty of murder.

The roofer told BBC Radio 4: “To say I’m shocked and disappointed would be a huge understatement.

“For me it was never a question of whether it would be murder or manslaughter it was a question of how many of them would be prosecuted for murder.

“The more evidence you hear, the more it’s clear they knew exactly what they were doing and they were just preoccupied with their escape at all costs.”

<img src="https://www.thesun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/NINTCHDBPICT000597852263.jpg”>Mrs Harper described her husband as ‘heroic’ in an emotional statement

Long, Bowers and Cole hugged each other to the sound of their cheering families as the verdicts were read out at the Old Bailey yesterday.

But PC Harper’s widow Lissie, who had only married her childhood sweetheart weeks before his death, wept as the decision was given.

She bravely read a heartfelt statement outside the court describing how she has her “own life sentence”.

And she described her husband as “selfless, beautiful and heroic” and called his killers “senseless, barbaric and brutal”.

Mrs Harper said: “In all honesty I am for the second time in the space of one year utterly shocked and appalled.

“The decisions made in these courts by strangers will never change the outcome that had already come to us.”

LISSIE HARPER'S HEARTFELT STATEMENT

Speaking outside the Old Bailey, she told reporters: “I honestly thought I would be addressing you after a very different verdict.

“I had planned to talk of the beautiful future Andrew and I had before us, I expected my words to be so very different and in all honesty I am for the second time in the space of one year utterly shocked and appalled.

“The decisions made in the these courts by strangers will never change the outcome that had already come to pass. For many, many agonising months we have hoped that justice would come in some way for Andrew.

“We have put our faith in the justice system and all who work within it.

“We have waited with baited breath and heavy hearts as the dedicated prosecution barristers and investigation team of Thames Valley Police officers have worked tirelessly and who we thank sincerely for all they have done, as they stood in our corner and fought to make sure these men were made to repent for their barbaric crimes.

“No verdict or sentence will ever bring my incredible, selfless and heroic husband back.

The results from this trial I had hoped would bring justice but in reality make no difference to the heart-wrenching pain I will continue to feel for the rest of my life.”

She continued: “Andrew was taken from us on that horrendous night last year and his life was stolen and the lives of his family and friends altered forever. This crime, whatever the outcome deliberated over in court, was brutal and senseless.

“The way in which Andrew was robbed of his life we all know to be barbaric and inexplicable. I am immensely disappointed with the verdict given today.

“Andrew served in Thames Valley Police with honour. He went out night after night risking his life for the safety and the wellbeing of the innocent as all police officers do with passion.

“Ultimately he laid down his life for us all and it pains me more than I can ever explain that this has not been appreciated by the very people who should have seen his heroic and selfless duty as so many other members of the public – total strangers – clearly do.

“Myself and Andrew’s family will never come to terms with our new lives, we will never understand how such a beautiful, loving, decent human being could be dealt this fate.

“I now have my own life sentence to bear and believe me when I say it will be a lot more painful, soul destroying and painful journey than anyone facing a meagre number of years in prison will experience.”

“Myself and our family will spend the rest of our days missing him, loving him and being utterly proud of the incredible man that he was.

“We will never forget the kindness that we as a family have received from all who have supported us over the last year – friends, family and total strangers and the almighty unity of the thin blue line. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.”

She added: “No verdict or sentence will ever bring my incredible, selfless and heroic husband back.

“The results from this trial I had hoped would bring justice but in reality make no difference to the heart-wrenching pain I will continue to feel for the rest of my life.

“Andrew was taken from us on that horrendous night last year. His life was stolen and the lives of his family and friends altered forever.

“This crime, whatever the outcome deliberated over in court, was brutal and senseless.

“The way in which Andrew was robbed of his life we all know to be barbaric and inexplicable.

“I am immensely disappointed with the verdict given today.”

Long, Bowers and Cole had watched the verdict via videolink after the jury had deliberated for almost two days.

The former had earlier admitted manslaughter, while all three had denied murder.

The trio are now facing substantially shorter jail sentences after being convicted of the lesser charge.

It came after the court heard a car driven by Long at “breakneck speed” swung PC Harper “like a pendulum” along a country lane, as he apprehended the teen gang during a botched robbery near Reading, Berks.

JURY PROTECTED DURING TRIAL

THE case was dogged by alleged attempts to “frustrate” the investigation and fears over jury nobbling, it can now be reported

Supporters of Long, Bowers and Cole had crowded into the public gallery of the Old Bailey as the case got under way in March.

But no sooner had it started, Mr Justice Edis brought the trial to a halt over an alleged potential plot to intimidate jurors.

He ordered extra security measures to protect the jury.

Without divulging details, he said police had received information “that an attempt is being considered by associates of the defendants to intimidate the jury”.

The jury was provided with a private room, and anyone entering the public gallery was asked to provide proof of their identity. A third measure was kept secret.

When the case returned for retrial in June, security was stepped up.

Jurors were referred to by number rather than their name to be sworn in and uniformed police were out in force during a jury visit to rural Berkshire with a drone keeeping an eye overhead.

With the end of the retrial in sight, fears for its integrity surfaced on July 20.

An overly friendly juror was seen by a prison officer to mouth “Bye boys” to the defendants in the dock.

The female juror was discharged just a day before the remaining 11 men and women began deliberating on their verdicts.

The heartless thugs smirked and laughed as his horrific injuries were read out to jurors.

While Bowers was so bored during the trial he fell asleep as the prosecutor showed jurors video footage of the Thames Valley Police officer being dragged to his death.

It can now be reported that Long had previously threatened to “ram” a police officer as he chatted with a police community support officer.

Ringleader of the teen gang Long was also revealed to be a thief who was taken out of school aged 12 by his father after he got into trouble with teachers.

Jurors were told how the teens had tried to steal the £10,000 bike from the home of Peter Wallis in remote Bradfield Southend, when they were apprehended by PC Harper.

The gang had cased the property earlier in the day and later returned masked and armed with an axe, crowbars and a length of pipe to use against anyone in their way.

PC Harper and his colleagues came across the gang driving towards them on narrow Admoor Lane.

Cole unhitched the bike and dived through a passenger window to escape the hero cop who had got out of the unmarked BMW police car.

But PC Harper’s ankles then got caught in the tow rope attached to the suspects’ getaway car as they drove off.

He was dragged along the stretch of road at up to 60mph by the SEAT in horrendous circumstances.

The court heard that the officer – who was responding to the reported theft four hours after the end of his shift on August 15 last year – would have been rendered unconscious almost immediately and was unable to free himself.

PC Harper’s body was completely naked apart from his socks when discovered by the officer’s horrified colleagues.

The officer was “barely alive” but died at the scene a short time later.

His tragic and agonising death was just four weeks after marrying sweetheart Lissie Beckett.

Long initially denied involvement in the incident and told police in a prepared statement that he had been watching The Goonies and Fast And Furious DVDs.

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Jurors heard that he told detectives: “Look at me. Do I look like a murderer?”

Later, on September 18, when Long was charged with murder and conspiracy to steal, he said: “I don’t give a f*** about any of this.”

But during the trial Long finally admitted he had killed the police officer and said it made him feel “disgraceful”.

Mr Blaik added: “They had every opportunity to do that and it was a conscious decision by them not to assist police from the very outset, all the way through, and even during the trial.”

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