- Compulsory life imprisonment for killing a police officer or 999 worker, it was announced last night
- The legal change is a major victory for the widow of protagonist PC Andrew Harper, who was killed while responding to a burglary
- Lisie Harper, 30, was left angry after the trio, who caused her death, escaped with a 13-year sentence — and smiled at the dock.
Compulsory life imprisonment is to be given for killing a police officer or 999 activists, it was announced last night.
The legal change is a major victory for the widow of protagonist PC Andrew Harper, who was killed while responding to a burglary.
Lisie Harper, 30, was enraged after the trio, who caused her death, escaped with a 13-year sentence – and smiled at the dock.
‘Harper’s Law’ would apply to any murderer of an on-duty police officer, fireman, paramedic or prison officer – and also to a criminal who kills medics providing NHS care.
It is expected to be included in the statute book early next year through amendments to the Police, Crime, Punishment and Courts Bill.
Lisie Harper, 30, angry after the trio who caused her husband’s death escaped with a 13-year sentence — and smiled at the dock
Justice Secretary Dominic Raab paid tribute to Mrs Harper today, saying she suffered a “burn of injustice”. Writing exclusively for the Granthshala, he says: ‘We are all indebted to our dedicated emergency workers with gratitude. I want them to know we’ve got their back.
‘I pay tribute to Lisi’s determination to change the law, so that only the families of those killed in the line of duty get the justice they deserve.’
He also praised Mrs Harper for her ‘remarkable’ 15-month campaign, supported by the Rank-and-File Police Federation.
How police killers have managed to dodge justice
Members of the armed gang that killed PC Sharon Beshenievsky are among those previously sentenced to life imprisonment for their crimes.
The mother of three was shot dead and her colleague Teresa Milburn seriously injured while trying to stop a gang that fled a travel agency in Bradford with £5,000 in November 2005.
Four of the group, who were armed with machine guns and a pistol, received life sentences. But Hasan Razzaq was sentenced to 20 years for murder, while Raza ul-Haq Aslam was sentenced to eight years for robbery. The group’s alleged mastermind Piran Ditta Khan was never tried in the UK, but was finally arrested in Pakistan in January last year.
Thomas Whaley was sentenced to eight years in 2001 for the murder of PC Alison Armitage, but was freed after serving just five. The police officer was killed when the whale tried to escape in a stolen car and crushed it, causing several horrific injuries.
He claimed he had not seen the 29-year-old officer despite repeatedly driving over his body to avoid being caught in Hollinwood, Greater Manchester. PC Gareth Browning was also trying to stop a stolen vehicle when he was propelled by Luke Heywood, the day he was released from prison in 2013.
The officer never recovered from his injuries, which left him permanently disabled, and he died in April 2017 at the age of 36.
Heywood was originally sentenced to nine years in prison in 2014 for dangerous driving and grievous bodily harm and three years and four months in prison after being charged with murder in 2017.
She said last night: ‘It’s been a long journey and a lot of hard work. I know Andrew would be proud to see Harper’s Law reach this important milestone.
‘Emergency service personnel require additional protection. I know all too well how society puts them at risk on a regular basis – and in the depths of danger. That’s the protection Harper’s Law will provide and I’m glad it becomes a reality soon.
‘I want to thank our incredible Harper’s Law team as well as the public for their continued support for such an important campaign – who believed that the right thing to do was doable, despite the obstacles and challenges that we have to overcome. is required.
‘And for the families for whom this law will provide justice, we are almost there. Your continued support has inspired me to move forward.
On August 15, 2019, four hours after the end of his shift, 28-year-old PC Harper responded to reports of a stolen quad bike in Stanford Dingley, Berkshire.
As he approached the suspects, his legs became entangled in a strap attached to the Toledo seat operated by Henry Long, then 19. Long accelerated forward.
PC Harper’s colleague, PC Andrew Shaw, later described how the officer fell and disappeared from the scene, like a waterskier with his ‘legs whipped forward’. The newlyweds were pulled over a mile for 91 seconds, at an average speed of 43mph, before dismembering her body.
After a trial, Long was sentenced to 16 years. They could be freed after serving two-thirds of the sentence or ten years and eight months.
Passengers Jesse Cole and Albert Bowers would both be entitled to automatic release after serving eight years and eight months of their 13-year term of 18 at the time.
The Court of Appeal rejected the attorney general’s bid to extend their sentence, and the three have received more than £780,000 in legal aid. Long told police that when he was initially charged, he had “provided no information about any of this.”
Mr and Mrs Harper had only been married a month before his death and had not yet gone on their honeymoon.
Mrs Harper has previously condemned the sentences as “inadequate” punishment for the “brutal and criminal way” in which her husband was murdered.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: ‘Those who want to harm our emergency service personnel represent the worst of humanity and it is right that future killers with life sentences should be snatched away from our freedom to walk on the streets. be taken.’
A Justice Ministry spokesman said the new fine would be introduced as soon as possible. Judges will be allowed to relax the minimum imprisonment for life only in the most exceptional cases.
PC Andrew Harper with his wife Lisie. Justice Secretary Dominic Raab paid tribute to Mrs Harper today, saying she suffered ‘burns of injustice’
The Assassins of PC Harper: Henry Long, Jesse Cole and Albert Bowers.
The full details of the new sentence have not been published yet. But officials said that for it to be implemented, an emergency worker would not have to directly respond to a crime. And the victim will not need to know before his death that a crime is being committed.
Anyone convicted of murder already faces a mandatory life sentence and from 2015, a criminal convicted of murdering a police officer gets a ‘whole life’ tariff, meaning they die behind bars. Will go
However, criminals who escape murder charges but are convicted of fewer homicide offenses often receive shorter sentences, and will be the main focus of legal change.
I want 999 employees to know we’ve got their support
For the Granthshala by Justice Secretary Dominic Raab
PC Andrew Harper was just 28 years old and married less than a month after he was killed in the line of duty as a Thames Valley police officer in August 2019.
As he tried to arrest the theft suspects, he got caught in a leash hanging from their car.
At over 40 mph, he dragged PC Harper for a mile.
He was pronounced dead on the spot, leaving his wife Lissie, family and many friends heartbroken.
Three teenagers were convicted of manslaughter after the murder. Henry Long received 16 years in prison for taking the life of PC Harper, while Albert Bowers and Jesse Cole received 13 years in prison.
Lisie Harper was left with a burning sense of injustice at the length of the sentences given to her husband’s killers. Believing that his sentence was not commensurate with the gravity of the crime, he has spent 16 months campaigning for a change in the law since that trial. She does not want any other family to go through the pain that she and Andrew’s wider family have gone through.
But as harrowing as the PC Harper case is, the broader theory is at stake. We are all grateful to our emergency workers, especially after the pandemic of the last two years.
Mr Raab said: ‘As harrowing as the case of PC Harper, a broader theory is at stake. We are all grateful to our emergency workers, especially after the pandemic of the last two years.
Despite the risks, they continue to line themselves up to keep us safe. And yet last year, more than 10,000 convictions were made for attacks on emergency workers, including police officers, paramedics and firefighters. I want them to know we’ve got their back. When I was a junior justice minister in 2018, I was involved in increasing the maximum penalty for assault on emergency workers from six months to one year. Now we are passing a new law through Parliament to double it again – by two years.
But we still need to go further.
That’s why I’m introducing ‘Harper’s Law’ – which would require a mandatory life sentence for anyone who unlawfully kills an emergency worker in the course of their duties, unless there are truly exceptional circumstances.
If this law had been in place at the time of PC Harper’s death, his killers would have received life sentences.
I pay tribute to Lisi’s determination to change the law, so that only the families of those killed in the line of duty get the justice they deserve.
This government is recruiting police, increasing the time behind bars for the most serious criminals and building prisons to take the strongest approach to crime.
We stand for the victims, the police and all dedicated frontline emergency personnel.
In this way we can build a stronger, safer and better country.