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Man pleads guilty to killing police officer

18-year-old admits manslaughter but denies murder

John Herring

John Herring

john.herring@newburynews.co.uk

Contact:

01635 886633

Police officer killed in West Berkshire died of 'multiple injuries'

PC Andrew Harper

AN 18-year-old man from West Berkshire has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Pc Andrew Harper. 

Henry Long entered the plea at The Old Bailey this morning (Tuesday), but he denies murder. 

Pc Harper was killed after being dragged along the road by a vehicle on Thursday, August 15 last year at the crossroads of Ufton Lane and Lambdens Hill, near Sulhamstead, while attending reports of a burglary in Bradfield Southend. 

The 28-year-old policeman, who had married his childhood sweetheart Lissie 28 days before his death, died from multiple injuries. 

Ten males, aged between 13 and 30, were arrested the next day.

Thames Valley Police charged 18-year-old Henry Long and two 17-year-old boys – who cannot be named for legal reasons – with Pc Harper’s murder after a series of warrants executed by more than 100 officers in Berkshire and Hampshire.

They were all from the Reading area and charged with murder and conspiracy to steal a quad bike.

The alleged driver, Henry Long, from Mortimer, appeared at the Old Bailey for a plea hearing by video link from Belmarsh prison.

When asked for his plea to a charge of manslaughter, he said: “Pardon, was that manslaughter?” before adding: “I plead guilty, guilty.”

Long denied Pc Harper’s murder but admitted conspiracy to steal a quad bike.

A 17-year-old co-defendant, who cannot be identified, entered not guilty pleas to Pc Harper’s manslaughter and conspiracy to steal.

The boy appeared in court via video link from Wetherby young offenders institute.

Previously, another 17-year-old boy had entered not guilty pleas to manslaughter and conspiracy to steal.

A fourth defendant, Thomas King, 21, from Basingstoke, had admitted conspiracy to steal a quad bike.

The three teenagers are due to face a six-week trial at the Old Bailey from March 9.