Tue, 07 Jul 2020
PC Andrew Harper
A teenage driver who dragged Pc Andrew Harper to his death has told jurors he feels “disgraceful” about what happened.
Henry Long, 19, was allegedly trying to evade arrest after attempting to steal a £10,000 quad bike from a house in Stanford Dingley, on the evening of August 15 last year.
Pc Harper, 28, had got out of his patrol car to chase after a suspect when his ankles got entangled in a tow strap attached to Long’s Seat Toledo.
He was pulled along winding country lanes for more than a mile before he became disentangled, having suffered catastrophic injuries.
Within hours of Pc Harper’s death, Long and his two passengers, Albert Bowers and Jessie Cole, both 18, were arrested.
Long initially denied involvement in the incident and told police in a prepared statement that he had been watching The Goonies and Fast And Furious DVDs.
Long, Bowers and Cole, from Mortimer and Aldermaston respectively, have denied Pc Harper’s murder but admitted conspiracy to steal the quad bike.
Long has also admitted Pc Harper’s manslaughter, but denies intending to harm him.
Giving evidence at the Old Bailey today (Tuesday), he accepted that he had killed Pc Harper.
Defence barrister Rossano Scamardella QC said: “You pleaded guilty to manslaughter – why?
Long replied: “Because I accept that I killed him from what I was doing, the way I was driving.”
The lawyer asked: “How do you feel?”
The defendant said: “Disgraceful.”
Long told jurors he could not sleep and thought about Pc Harper’s family and how they feel.
He said he was unaware Pc Harper was attached to his car, adding: “If I was aware I would have stopped the vehicle, tried to save him.”
Mr Scamardella said: “Did you ever have any intention to hurt him? Or kill him?”
Long said: “Not in any way.”
Mr Scamardella said: “Did you care about what happened?”
Long said: “The fact he died, yes.”
The defendant said he had been the passenger in cars chased by police before, but this was the first time he was the driver.
Asked what the atmosphere was like inside a car being pursued by police, he said it was “chaotic”.
Long told jurors he lived with his parents and five siblings and was part of the travelling community.
Like his father and grandfather, he was a “thief”, he said, stealing quad bikes and mechanical equipment.
On his father and grandfather’s occupation, he said: “It’s not a proud thing to admit.”
Long had been taken out of school by his father in Year 8 after being given a detention, the court heard.
The trial continues.