Mon, 29 Jun 2020
THE burglary phone call made on the night that Pc Andrew Harper died has been played in court.
Pc Harper died after being dragged along a lane for more than a mile after his feet got tangled in a loop attached to a vehicle being driven by Henry Long.
The young officer and his colleague Pc Andrew Shaw were returning to Abingdon on the M4 when they received reports of a burglary in Bradfield Southend.
The call came from Peter Wallis, who said that masked men had been on his property and that they were attempting to steal a new Honda quadbike.
Long, 19, from Mortimer, has pleaded guilty to manslaughter but denies murder and conspiracy to steal a quadbike.
His two passengers Albert Bowers, 18, from Mortimer, and Jessie Cole, 18 from Aldermaston deny murder and manslaughter but admit conspiracy to steal.
The call, which contains some swearing, can be listened to below.
The two officers encountered the Seat Toledo being driven by Long in Admoor Lane, Beenham and Long drove around the police car.
Cole, who had been steering the quadbike attached to the car by a strap, jumped off and ran for the Seat.
The two vehicles now boot-to-boot Pc Harper left the BMW and began running towards the Seat in a bid to apprehend Cole.
Proescuting, Jonathan Laidlaw QC said: "Illuminated by the rear lights of the police car, as well as by the pulsating blue and white emergency lights, certainly Jessie Cole and probably the driver and passenger in the Seat could not have failed to have seen Pc Harper, who was within feet of him, and to have realised he was a police officer in full uniform," Mr Laidlaw said.
"Indeed, PC Harper very nearly grabbed him. But such was Cole’s desperation to flee with the others, he dived through one of the passenger side windows of the car."
With Cole now in the car the vehicle began accelerating.
"Tragically, at that very moment and still in the act of chasing down Jessie Cole, Pc Harper must have quite unwittingly stepped, with both feet, into the loop made on the road surface by the trailing strap," Mr Laidlaw said.
Dashcam footage of the encounter has also been played in court and can be viewed below. The videos may be distressing for some viewers and contain some swearing.