PC Harper's mum describes moment cops told her son was dead and says she 'tried her hardest not to believe it'

PC HARPER'S mum has told of the heartbreaking moment she received the news of her son's death.

Grieving Debbie Adlam spoke of the day her "world changed" as she launched the "Andrew's Law" campaign – which calls for cop killers to receive tougher jail terms. 

PC Harper was killed as he tried to stop three thieves fleeing after they stole a quad bike in Stanford Dingley, Berkshire, on August 15 last year.

Henry Long, 19, and 18-year-olds Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers were sentenced for the 28-year-old newlywed's manslaughter.

Speaking to Sky News earlier today, Debbie remembered the moment the police arrived to inform her of the tragic news of her son's death.

She said: "I woke up to a knock on the door at 4.45am and two officers were standing at the door and said: "can we come in".

"They just told me straight out and they didn't soft coat it, which is the right way to do it I think.

It's one of those things you just can't even imagine. I can't even explain it. The world has just changed forever

"I just kept telling them to not tell me. I kept saying 'Don't tell me that', because you just don't want to hear it."

Debbie added: "You try your hardest not to take it in and not to believe it and then they're standing there… Then you can't close your eyes and open them and they're gone, as they're still there. 

"It's one of those things you just can't even imagine. I can't even explain it. The world has just changed forever."

It comes as the grieving mum today launched the Andrew’s Law campaign for a “mandatory” 20-year minimum prison sentence for those convicted of killing police officers.

Speaking today, Debbie said that “something needs to change” after those responsible for her son's death were handed 16-year and 13-year sentences at the Old Bailey on Friday.


As part of the campaign, Debbie is calling for a minimum term of 20 years for anyone who takes an officer's life, with no chance of parole during that time.

Debbie said: “We've come to realise that, with the outcome of the trial as it stands, something needs to change.

"He is worth much more than this and we've been thinking for some time that something needs to be brought in to protect our police officers.

We're looking to bring in a minimum term – 20 years. No parole, no reductions

"There's nobody looking out for them and we aim to change that."

Mrs Adlam added: "We're looking to bring in a minimum term – 20 years. No parole, no reductions."


PC Harper's widow, Lissie Harper, has also launched her own Andrew's Law campaign calling for full-life prison terms for those who kill emergency services workers.

She said: "I pledge to my late husband to never stop until I have made the difference that this country clearly needs.

"I vow to stand strong and firm with so many other honourable people in our country to make the changes that we clearly know to be justified."

Lissie shared a new picture of herself and PC Harper as she launched the campaign today.

Her cause is being backed by the Police Federation of England and Wales, which represents thousands of officers up to the rank of chief inspector.

The three teenagers were convicted of manslaughter over PC Harper's death, after he responded to a reported burglary.

They were found not guilty of murdering the police officer after the jury had deliberated for almost two days.

Henry Long, 19, Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers, both 18, hugged each other to the sound of their cheering families as the verdict of not guilty to murder was read out in court.

I pledge to my late husband to never stop until I have made the difference that this country clearly needs.

Bowers and Cole were instead convicted of the lesser charge of manslaughter – which Long had previously admitted.

Long, who was driving the car when the Thames Valley Police officer was dragged to his death while responding to a quad bike theft on August 15, was caged for 16 years.

Bowers and Cole were handed 13 years in prison and banned from driving for two years.

But Attorney General Suella Braverman will now look into whether the jail time handed down was too lenient after a request to review the case.

Lissie said today: "As a widow of a police officer – a title in which I would give everything to not have – I have witnessed first-hand the lenient and insufficient way in which the justice system deals with criminals who take the lives of our emergency workers.

“I have grown close to our under-appreciated protectors ever more since the death of Andrew, I have been enveloped in love and support from not only the police and other emergency workers but so many of the general public too who I know fully support my feelings over the verdict and sentences in which Andrew’s killers have received.

“The people responsible for wreaking utter despair and grief in all of our lives will spend an inadequate amount of time behind bars.


"These men who showed no remorse, no guilt or sorrow for taking such an innocent and heroic life away will find themselves able to live out the rest of their lives free and able to commit more crimes and continue to put people in danger when they are released in a very small number of years.”

It came after the court heard a car driven by Long at "breakneck speed" swung PC Andrew Harper "like a pendulum" along a country lane on August 15, 2019.

PC Harper was in the process of apprehending the teen gang during a botched robbery near Reading, Berks.

The jury came back with the verdict after deliberating for two days, which left his tearful widow Lissie in tears.

The killers' families wept and gasped as the sentences were handed down, while Lissie's mum Julie Beckett applauded.

Sentencing, the judge said nothing he can do can “restore Andrew Harper to his loving wife or family", adding: "His devastating loss in terrible circumstances will follow his family for ever.”

Describing the killers as "young, unintelligent but professional criminals", he added none of them had "shown anything resembling remorse".

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