MP suggests reviewing sentencing guidelines after meeting Pc Harper’s mother

The MP representing the family of Pc Andrew Harper will suggest looking into changing the sentencing guidelines for police killers after meeting the officer’s mother.

Conservative MP John Howell met with Debbie Adlam on Monday to discuss the family’s campaign for “Andrew’s Law”, calling for those who kill police officers to face a minimum of 20 years in prison.

The family’s adviser, Radd Seiger, who also advises the parents of teenage motorcyclist Harry Dunn, said Mr Howell agreed to arrange a meeting with Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Police officer killed in Sulhamstead
Police officer killed in Sulhamstead

Mr Seiger said Mr Howell “suggested looking at changing the sentencing guidelines themselves… rather than seeking to change the law given the current constraints in finding Parliamentary time”.

Mrs Adlam previously told the PA news agency that “something needs to change” after those responsible for her son’s death were handed 16-year and 13-year sentences at the Old Bailey on July 31.

The 28-year-old Thames Valley Police officer died as he tried to stop three thieves fleeing after they stole a quad bike in Stanford Dingley, Berkshire, on August 15 last year.

Henry Long, 19, and 18-year-olds Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers were sentenced for the newlywed’s manslaughter.

Police officer killed in Sulhamstead
Police officer killed in Sulhamstead

Pc Harper was caught in a crane strap dangling from the back of a Seat Toledo driven by Long, and dragged to his death.

His widow, Lissie Harper, also launched a campaign backed by the Police Federation of England and Wales, calling for full-life prison terms for those who kill emergency services workers.

Following her meeting with the MP for Henley, Mrs Adlam told the PA: “I am so grateful to John for coming to see me and to listen to my family’s concerns.

Police officer killed in Sulhamstead
Police officer killed in Sulhamstead

“He was very sympathetic and like us keen to see what can be done to help.

“We know we cannot bring Andrew back but we want to leave him a legacy so that his death is not in vain.”

She continued: “We believe the changes we propose are the best way forward in terms of deterring criminals from seriously injuring or killing our heroic blue light officers.

“It would mean the world to me to know that Andrew made a difference.

MP portraits
MP portraits

“I know he did to thousands of people when alive.

“But I hope his legacy will be that he protected his colleagues in death.”

Explaining what was discussed in the meeting, Mr Seiger told PA: “This is a complex and sensitive issue and John has asked that he be given some time to think about the best way forward.

“As an example, he has suggested looking at changing the sentencing guidelines themselves which the judge in Andrew Harper’s case followed, rather than seeking to change the law given the current constraints in finding Parliamentary time.

“We had a wide ranging discussion on a number of issues including how best to deter criminality.

“For Debbie and the family, they just want to do some good.”