Pc Andrew Harper’s widow criticises ‘£465,000 legal aid for killers’

The widow of Pc Andrew Harper has criticised the reported £465,000 in legal aid received by his killers.

Lissie Harper, 29, said she was saddened but not surprised that "so much public money has been and continues to be spent on defending the indefensible", after the figure was reported by the Daily Mail.

In a statement, she said: "Andrew was my whole life.

"This just doesn't seem right or fair. Not only did we not get justice for Andrew, we now know the cost of that injustice.

"It's news such as this that makes me more determined than ever to keep on fighting for Harper's Law, which would mean these despicable criminals are jailed for life.

"Our petition calling for this now has more than 500,000 signatures. I am sure the public – whose support for me has been unstinting – will be as horrified as I am to know how much money is going towards paying this trio's escalating legal costs."

Mrs Harper is campaigning for Harper's Law, which would mean those who kill emergency workers are jailed for life.

Mrs Harper and her 28-year-old husband had been married for just four weeks when he and a Thames Valley Police colleague responded to a late-night burglary in Sulhamstead, Berkshire, in August last year.

Two of Pc Harper's killers – 18-year-olds Albert Bowers and Jessie Cole – last week lodged applications with the Court of Appeal seeking permission to challenge their convictions and their 13-year prison sentences.

They were jailed alongside Henry Long, 19, who was handed a 16-year sentence.

All three were acquitted of murder during a trial at the Old Bailey but were sentenced for the lesser charge of manslaughter after Pc Harper got caught in a crane strap attached to the back of a car driven by Long, and was dragged to his death along dark country lanes.