PC Harper widow Lissie
True Crime

What has PC Harper’s widow Lissie said about his killers and what is Harper’s Law?

She has campaigned for changes in the law after the tragic death of her husband

| Updated:

Lissie considered herself the luckiest woman alive when she married PC Andrew Harper in July 2019 but, just weeks later, she was left a widow.

Three thugs stole Lissie’s future away, when they killed Andrew in one of the most senseless and sick crimes in UK history.

The brutal death of PC Harper in August 2019 left the nation horrified to its core.

What has Lissie said about the killers?

And what is Harper’s Law?

Here’s everything you need to know about PC Harper’s widow Lissie.

The Killing of PC Harper
Trevor McDonald pictured with PC Harper’s widow Lissie in The Killing of PC Harper: A Widow’s Fight for Justice (Credit: ITV1)

Read more: Murder in the Valleys on Sky: New true crime series re-examines the horrific Clydach murders

Who is PC Harper’s widow Lissie Harper?

Lissie grew up in Oxfordshire with her parents, her older sister and her younger brother.

Her dad Simon owns a car restoration company, while mum Julie works at a pet-rehoming centre.

Lissie began dating classmate Andrew Harper at secondary school.

They enjoyed what she calls “a simple life” filled with country walks, watching films, and socialising with friends and family.

The couple took a career break in their mid-20s, visiting 14 countries, including Sri Lanka, Bali and Australia.

Lissie studied art at college and in her late 20s.

After jobs painting ceramics and designing wedding cakes, she started her own business, hand printing her work on to clothing and accessories.

On July 18 2019, she married her childhood sweetheart of 13 years, police officer Andrew Harper.

They exchanged vows in a stone temple in the grounds of a Georgian manor house in front of family and friends.

The pair pledged to spend the rest of their lives together, and had planned to go on honeymoon in mid-August.

Tragically, Andrew died just four week after the wedding in the line of duty.

What happened to Lissie’s husband PC Harper?

On August 15 2019, PC Harper and his colleague PC Shaw responded to a call to investigate an attempted robbery.

Masked men had stolen a quad bike.

As the thieves made their escape from the police officers, they unhooked the quad bike from their car to make a quick getaway.

Tragically, however, the tow rope was left dangling.

PC Harper ran in pursuit of the escaping thieves and became entangled in the rope.

The thieves dragged him for more than a mile along a country road.

Paramedics pronounced PC Harper’s death at 23:45 on August 15 2019.

He was just 28 years of age.

PC Andrew Harper killers
PC Andrew Harper’s killers laughed and joked at their first court hearing (Credit: ITV/Good Morning Britain)

Read more: Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman: What happened to Soham girls murdered by Ian Huntley?

Who killed PC Harper and why?

Henry Long, 19, Albert Bowers, 18, and Jessie Cole, also 18, killed PC Harper in Berkshire.

On the night of Harper’s death, the three boys had stolen a quad bike from a property near Stanford Dingley, Berkshire.

The bike’s owner watched on as the theft unfolded.

Peter Wallis called the police, saying: “I have four masked men outside my house.

“They’ve got weapons and they are stealing my quad bike.”

PC Andrew Harper and PC Andrew Shaw responded to the call in their unmarked BMW police car.

Tragically, it was the last thing PC Harper ever did.

What did Lissie Harper say at her husband’s funeral?

Mourners gathered at PC Harper’s funeral on October 14 2019 at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford.

Members of the public lined the streets to watch the funeral procession.

More than 800 people attended the service including Home Secretary Priti Patel and Oxford West and Abingdon MP Layla Moran – both of whom later paid respect to Harper in the House of Commons.

His widow Lissie told the congregation that although Andrew was strong, he was also unfailingly kind.

She described him as a gentle giant, with a heart of gold.

There wasn’t a day that passed, she said, where they didn’t tell each other they loved each other.

PC Andrew Harper's killers Albert Bowers, Jessie Cole, and Henry Long
PC Harper’s killers Henry Long, 19, Albert Bowers, 18, and Jessie Cole, 18 (Credit: Shutterstock)

How did Lissie react to the conviction of PC Harper’s killers?

In July 2020, a judge found the three teenage males guilty of manslaughter – not murder.

The driver, Henry Long, 19, was jailed for 16 years.

His passengers, Albert Bowers and Jessie Cole, both 18, were sentenced to 13 years each.

At the time, Andrew’s widow expressed her disappointment saying: “I am immensely disappointed with the verdict given today.

“This crime, whatever the outcome deliberated in court, was brutal and senseless.

“The way in which Andrew was robbed of his life we all know to be barbaric and inexplicable.”

After her victim impact statement, she released an open letter imploring Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel to allow a retrial seeking a murder verdict.

They also appealed their convictions.

PC Harper’s wife, Lissie, said: “This update comes as no surprise to me following news that two of them are also seeking leave to appeal against their conviction.

“None of Andrew’s killers have shown any remorse.

“So this is just carrying on the way that they are and have been throughout the past year.

“It is upsetting – but just helps to drive my determination with my campaign calling for Harper’s Law.”

What is Harper’s Law?

In August 2020, PC Harper’s widow Lissie launched a campaign for a new law.

The initiative was launched after the three teenagers accused of Andrew’s murder were found guilty of manslaughter and NOT murder.

‘Harper’s Law’ would introduce a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment for anyone convicted of killing emergency workers – police officer, firefighter, nurse, doctor, or paramedic.

Speaking outside the court after the hearing, Lissie Harper said: “I stand before you with my heart as heavy as it was those many months ago when I stood feeling let down and angry outside of the Old Bailey.

“Yet today I feel pride in myself for not settling for something that I see as unacceptable.

“Proud to fight for my heroic husband Andrew as I also continue to push for the safety and justice of his fellow emergency services protectors in the future.”

She went on to say: “I want to create something Andrew would be proud of.

“Otherwise, it’s just a disgraceful waste of an amazing person’s life.

“There are no deterrents in our country for taking the lives of people who work tirelessly to protect the public.

“This needed to change.”

Separately, Harper’s mother launched a campaign to require killers of police officers to receive minimum jail terms of 20 years.

On November 24 2021, the Ministry of Justice announced that they would introduce Harper’s Law in 2022.

Harper’s Law will not affect the sentences of the three men already imprisoned for killing Andrew Harper.

LIssie Harper
PC Andrew Harper’s widow Lissie arrives in court (Credit: Shutterstock)

What has Lissie Harper said about her husband’s killers?

Lissie told the Guardian newspaper that the three teenagers appeared to show no remorse during the trial.

She said: “It’s all a game to them, really.

“They haven’t changed; they were sitting there like nothing really matters.

“I will never understand them.”

She had previously expressed her anger at seeing her husband’s killers laughing and “acting like football fans” during their trial.

Lissie told the Daily Mail: “They looked like they were sitting in the headteacher’s office.

“They were waving up to the public gallery at their families as if it was all just a day out.

They were laughing and joking.”

She added: “Whenever they left the court room we could all hear them shouting, like football fans on the terraces.

“They looked over at us a lot, but not with any kind of sorrow I could see.

“I sensed they were trying to get a reaction from us.”

What’s the future for PC Andrew Harper’s widow?

Lissie Harper now lives in a 17th-century cottage in Wallingford, Oxon, with her pet cat.

The widow of PC Andrew Harper recently revealed that she’s determined to embrace life.

She says it’s what her “best friend” Andrew would have wanted.

Lissie, now 30, says: “I don’t think I will ever fully come to terms with Andrew’s death, such an unexpected and shocking change to my life and the future we planned.

“But I plan to be grateful for every moment and live how Andrew would want me to – to be happy and listen to my heart.”

Andrew Harper and his mum
Andrew Harper and his mum before his tragic death (Credit: Shutterstock)

The Killing of PC Harper: A Widow’s Fight for Justice on ITV

Trevor McDonald presents a documentary about the death of police officer Andrew Harper in the line of duty in August 2019.

He reexamines the investigation to catch his killers, and the campaign to change the law by his widow Lissie.

Lissie reads online reports about the lack of remorse shown by the three teenagers found guilty of manslaughter in July 2020.

She expresses her belief that the punishment didn’t fit the crime.

Lissie uses the anger she feels to fuel her campaign Harper’s Law to change the law.

The Killing of PC Harper: A Widow’s Fight for Justice airs on Tuesday March 15 2022 at 9pm on ITV1, and will be available on the ITV Hub.

Do you remember this story from the news? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.