Juror discharged as Pc murder trial draws to a close

A juror has been discharged from the retrial of three teenagers accused of the murder of Pc Andrew Harper as the case draws to a close.

Over five weeks, jurors at the Old Bailey have heard evidence of how Pc Harper, 28, met his death in Berkshire on the night of August 15 last year.

The Thames Valley Police officer had been responding to a report of a quad bike theft when his ankles became tangled in a tow rope attached to a getaway car.

He was dragged for more than a mile and suffered horrific injuries, the court has heard.

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of, left to right, Henry Long, 19, Albert Bowers, 18, and Jessie Cole, 18, at the Old Bailey
Court artist sketch of Henry Long, left, Albert Bowers and Jessie Cole at the Old Bailey (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

The driver Henry Long, 19, and his passengers Albert Bowers and Jessie Cole, both 18, each deny murder.

Long has admitted manslaughter and all three defendants, from near Reading in Berkshire, have pleaded guilty to conspiring to steal the bike.

On Monday, Mr Justice Edis discharged a juror from sitting on the case.

He told the remaining panel: “You will see you are now 11 and not 12.

“I have had to take a decision to discharge the 12th person from further participation from this jury.

“I have had to spend some time this morning investigating the situation before making this decision. Please do not speculate about it.

“It does not have anything to do with the facts of the case and certainly nothing to do with anything the defendants have done.”

Mr Justice Edis said he would complete his summing up on Tuesday.

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