PC Andrew Harper: Criminals who kill emergency service workers will face mandatory life sentences under law change
By SEAMLESS DAILY
24 November 2021
Announcing the intended law change, the justice secretary, Dominic Raab, said : "We are going to pass into law mandatory life sentences for those who unlawfully kill an emergency worker in the course of their duty.
"Emergency services workers require extra protection," she said.
"I know all too well how they are put at risk and into the depths of danger on a regular basis on behalf of society.
"That protection is what Harper's Law will provide and I am delighted that it will soon become a reality.
harper said : "it's been a long journey and a lot of hard work.
I know Andrew would be proud to see Harper ’ s law reach this important milestone."
Henry Long, 19, was sentenced to 16 years and Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers, both 18, were jailed for 13 years for the manslaughter of PC Harper, 28.
Long, the leader of the group, admitted manslaughter, while his passengers, Cole and Bowers, were convicted of manslaughter after a trial at the Old Bailey.
pc harper's killers were cleared of murder and instead sentenced for manslaughter.
The move extends mandatory life sentences to anyone who commits the manslaughter of an emergency worker on duty- including police, prison officers, firefighters and paramedics- while carrying out another crime, unless there are truly exceptional circumstances.
Courts must already impose life sentences for murder, with a whole-life order being the starting point if the victim is a police officer.
The time spent in prison under a mandatory life sentence is decided by a judge.
I pay tribute to Lissie Harper's remarkable campaign.
"this government is on the side of victims and their families and we want our emergency services to know that we 'll always have their back."
Home Secretary Priti Patel said : "PC Andrew Harper's killing was shocking.
As well as a committed police officer, he was a husband and a son.
"It is with thanks to the dedication of Lissie and his family that I am proud to be able to honour Andrew's life by introducing Harper's Law.
"those who seek to harm our emergency service workers represent the very worst of humanity and it is right that future killers be stripped of the freedom to walk our streets with a life sentence."
The new penalty will be introduced as soon as possible, a Ministry of Justice spokesman said.
He had become entangled in a strap attached to a getaway vehicle as he tried to deal with three quad bike thieves.
Last year, the Court of Appeal rejected a bid by the attorney general to increase their sentences.
"And for the families of those that this Law will provide justice for, we 're almost there.
Your continued support has kept me pushing forward."
harper's law is expected to make it onto the statute book early next year via an amendment to the existing police, crime, sentencing and courts bill.
'Harper's Law ’ will apply to any killer of an on-duty police officer, fireman, paramedic or prison officer – and also to a criminal who kills medics providing NHS care.
i want them to know we 've got their backs by justice secretary dominic raab for the daily mail pc andrew harper was just 28 years old and had been married for less than a month when he was killed in the line of duty as a thames valley police officer in august 2019.
But officials said that for it to apply, an emergency worker would not have to be directly responding to a crime.
Now we ’ re passing a new law through parliament to double this again – to two years.
The ruling, announced by the government, follows a two-year campaign by Lissie Harper, whose husband was killed while answering a late-night burglary call.
She previously said she was "outraged" by the sentences handed to the three teenagers responsible for his death.
The jury cleared all three of murder.
Harper died from his injuries when he was caught in a strap attached to the back of a car and dragged down a winding country road as the trio fled the scene of a quad bike theft in Sulhamstead, Berkshire, on the night of 15 August 2019.
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