Man charged with murdering newlywed police officer

Jed Foster is accused of killing Pc Andrew Harper.

Press Association
Last updated: 19 August 2019 - 10.00pm

A 20-year-old man has been charged with the murder of a police officer who died after being dragged under the wheels of a vehicle.

Jed Foster is accused of killing newlywed Andrew Harper while responding to reports of a burglary in the Berkshire village of Bradfield, Southend, at 11.30pm on August 15.

The 28-year-old constable died from multiple injuries close to the nearby village of Sulhamstead after being dragged under a vehicle and possibly hit by a police car.

Foster is due to appear at Reading Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday. He is also charged with the theft of a quad bike.

Thames Valley Police arrested 10 men and boys – the youngest aged 13 – on the site of a nearby caravan park within an hour of the incident.

The nine remaining suspects were released on bail until Friday September 13.

Police colleagues paying tribute to Pc Harper at the scene of his death
Police colleagues paid their respects at the scene of Pc Harper’s death (Yui Mok/PA)

Chief crown prosecutor Jaswant Narwal said: “We will offer to meet with Pc Harper’s family to explain the basis of the decision we have made following a lengthy review of the evidence available.

“May I remind all concerned that criminal proceedings against Mr Foster are now active and that he has a right to a fair trial.

“It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”

Pc Harper had been married for just a month before he was killed.

Lissie Harper described her husband as “the kindest, loveliest, most selfless” person in a tribute on Monday evening.

Pc Andrew Harper and his wife, Lissie
Pc Andrew Harper and his wife, Lissie (Mark Lord/PA)

She wrote: “There is not enough paper in the world to even begin to write a tribute for you, but no one deserves it more.

“We had so many plans for the future, you wanted to do it all. My darling boy I do not know how I will be able to survive without you.”

Donations have poured in to support Pc Harper’s bereaved family, with a Just Giving appeal by fellow officers reaching six figures within the first day.

The fundraising page set up by Thames Valley Police Federation to support the officer’s widow, Lissie, and his family broke the £100,000 mark on Sunday night with donations continuing to pour in.

It reads: “We confront danger on a daily basis. We know there is a risk when we put on the uniform but we do so as we are proud to protect the public.

“Sadly, on very rare and horrendous occasions, a colleague makes the ultimate sacrifice. We will ensure that heroism is never forgotten.”

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