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Pc Andrew Harper murder trial: Jurors given majority direction

Three West Berkshire teenagers on trial

John Herring

John Herring

john.herring@newburynews.co.uk

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01635 886633

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

PC Andrew Harper

The jury in the retrial of three teenagers accused of murdering Pc Andrew Harper has been given a majority direction.

Update July 24 Teenagers found not guilty of murder

The 28-year-old officer was killed as he tried to apprehend quad bike thieves on the night of August 15 last year.

He had become caught in a tow rope attached to a getaway car and was dragged more than a mile along country lanes, the Old Bailey has heard.

Pc Harper suffered horrific injuries and died at the scene near the A4 in Berkshire.

Driver Henry Long, 19, and his passengers Albert Bowers and Jessie Cole, both 18, from near Reading, have admitted conspiring to steal a quad bike but deny murder.

Long has admitted manslaughter but denies intending to harm the Thames Valley Police officer.

Mr Justice Edis sent the jurors out to deliberate their verdicts at 3pm on Tuesday.

At 2pm today (Thursday), he told them he would now accept verdicts on which at least 10 of them were agreed.

The jury was then sent out again to continue deliberating.

The judge dismissed one juror on Monday but said the decision did not have "anything to do with the facts of this case".

The majority direction means that the remaining 11 jurors must reach a 10-1 majority on a verdict if they cannot come to a unanimous decision. 

A failure to reach these verdicts may lead to a retrial.