PC Andrew Harper murder trial: Passenger ‘did not see officer’

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Thames Valley Police

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PC Harper died after his ankles grew to become entangled in a tow strap hooked up to a automobile

A passenger inside a automobile that dragged PC Andrew Harper to his dying says he by no means noticed him throughout the incident.

Albert Bowers, 18, had been sitting within the entrance of a Seat Toledo which pulled PC Andrew Harper, 28, by a rope.

Henry Long was driving, and Jessie Cole was one other passenger. They had been attempting to get away after trying to steal a quad bike in Berkshire final August.

Mr Bowers instructed the Old Bailey he thought police had “bought the improper particular person” when he was arrested.

The court docket beforehand heard PC Harper, from Wallingford, Oxfordshire, died in “really stunning circumstances” when his ankles bought caught by a strap used to tow the bike from a home in Stanford Dingley on 15 August 2019.

Giving proof, Mr Bowers, of Moat Close, Bramley, mentioned: “I really feel horrible this occurred. I want it hadn’t.”

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Left to proper: Henry Long, Albert Bowers and Jessie Cole deny murder

The court docket heard he acted because the look-out throughout the bike theft.

Mr Cole, 18, of Paices Hill close to Reading, rode the quad bike, which was towed by a rope hooked up to the Seat, the jury was instructed.

The court docket heard they got here throughout an unmarked BMW police automobile in Admoor Lane, and Mr Long, 19, from Mortimer, Reading, shouted “police”.

Mr Bowers mentioned: “All of a sudden two palms got here by my window. That’s once I realised it was Jessie attempting to get in.”

He added that “when he jumped by the window his legs came to visit me, his palms on to Henry and that is when Henry’s shouting ‘get off, get off, get off’.”

The defendant mentioned he “grabbed” Mr Cole and put him within the again seat so Mr Long may drive.

Defence barrister Timothy Raggatt QC requested: “At any level in any respect had been you ever conscious there was anyone else outdoors your automobile?”

He replied: “No. Apart from Jessie I did not see nothing.”

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The strap PC Harper bought caught in was hooked up to a Seat Toledo

He additionally denied listening to something uncommon, saying: “There was an excessive amount of occurring within the automobile – Henry panicking and shouting and music [on the radio was] loud.

He added: “We simply wished to get house. It is difficult to recollect precisely what occurred, so many individuals shouting. I used to be shouting, Henry and Jessie was.

“Obviously we knew it was police. We knew we had been attempting to get away as a result of clearly we nicked the quad.”

He mentioned he by no means seemed behind or noticed something “unusual”.

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PC Harper was dragged for greater than a mile by the automobile

Cross inspecting, prosecutor Jonathan Laidlaw QC replayed video footage of the incident in gradual movement.

He mentioned: “Jessie was operating in direction of the automobile after which one thing brought on him to show spherical and look again to PC Harper.

“The prosecution say as soon as he bought into the automobile he instructed you he had seen a police officer.”

Mr Bowers denied this.

The defendants have admitted conspiring to steal the bike, however deny murdering PC Harper.

Mr Long has admitted manslaughter.

The trial continues.

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