Dashcam footage showing the desperate search for PC Andrew Harper after his feet were ‘whipped from under him’ by a tow rope has been shown in court.
The 28-year-old Thames Valley Police officer was dragged for more than a mile after his feet became entangled in the rope attached to a Seat Toledo car.
PC Harper, who had been attempting to apprehend quad bike thieves, was knocked unconscious, suffered catastrophic injuries and died at the scene on the evening of August 15 last year.
The footage showed a stab vest belonging to PC Andrew Harper lying in the road after his colleague, PC Andrew Shaw, lost sight of him while responding to a burglary in Berkshire
The Seat driver, Henry Long, 18, and two 17-year-olds have admitted conspiring to steal the quad bike but have denied murder. Long, of Mortimer, Reading, has admitted manslaughter, which his co-accused deny.
Giving evidence in their trial, PC Andrew Shaw said his crew mate got out of their patrol car when they spotted the Seat, which had been towing the quad bike.
He said: ‘I could see him running in the road. My first thought was he’s running after the car trying to get in it. It’s what he would have done.
‘I thought he was trying to get to the open door, drag them out of the car.
‘As the car accelerated, PC Harper was standing there and he just appeared to fall back as if his feet had been whipped from under him and that’s pretty much the last I saw of him.
‘It was so quick you don’t even have time to put your hands out to steady yourself.’
As he reacted to the fast-paced events, PC Shaw said his biggest concern was that he did not reverse into his colleague.
A call handler had alerted the officers to a burglary in progress near Stanford Dingley in Berkshire, after 11pm on August 15 last year.
A man attempts to get into a Seat car after it was stopped by PC Harper and PC Shaw. The dashcam footage was taken from PC Shaw’s car and was shown to jurors at the Old Bailey
In the video, issued by Thames Valley Police, a quad bike can be seen attached to the Seat car. PC Harper was dragged for over a mile after he became entangled in rope attached to the car
She relayed the report of ‘four masked men outside with weapons, pieces of wood, trying to break into the garage, trying to steal his quad bike’.
In the radio transmissions played in court, PC Harper responded: ‘We are with it, we are with it.’
PC Shaw is heard saying: ‘My colleague PC Harper got out of the vehicle, ran after the vehicle. I have now lost him.’
He is asked to confirm the location, before a communication from another officer, PC Christopher Bushnell, states: ‘There is a body in the road, body in the road. Just fell out of the vehicle.’
PC Shaw replies: ‘That’s probably PC Harper. I’ve just found his stab vest in the road.’
Jurors at the Old Bailey were shown video footage from the dashboard of PC Shaw’s car.
PC Harper pictured with his mother, Deborah. The Thames Valley Police officer had been attempting to apprehend quad bike thieves before being knocked unconscious
PC Harper and his wife, Lissie. On August 15 last year the officer was due to finish his shift at 7pm but, due to a surveillance job, did not stand down until 10pm, the court heard
It ended with a view of PC Shaw stopping and rushing over to join an officer standing over PC Harper, who was lying in the road.
PC Shaw told jurors he had been a member of the Thames Valley force’s road policing proactive team since 2009, having joined up in 1990.
The advanced police driver said he had known PC Harper, nicknamed Harps, for about 18 months, adding that he had joined the team six weeks earlier.
On August 15 last year, they had been due to finish their shift at 7pm but, due to a surveillance job, were not stood down until 10pm, he said.
Prosecutor Brian Altman QC asked PC Shaw: ‘This was well beyond your shift ended. Did that make a difference whether you went to the scene?’
The officer replied: ‘None at all.’