Berkshire

PC Andrew Harper death: Case dropped against man accused of murder

PC Andrew Harper Image copyright Family handout
Image caption PC Andrew Harper was married four weeks before he was killed

The case against a man who was accused of murdering a police officer as he was investigating a burglary has been dropped, a court has heard.

Newlywed PC Andrew Harper was killed after being dragged along a road by a vehicle in Sulhamstead, Berkshire, on 15 August.

Jed Foster, 20, from Pingewood, has had his case "discontinued" after further police investigation, prosecutors said.

Three teenagers charged with murdering PC Harper also appeared in court.

Prosecutor Jonathan Polnay told the Old Bailey: "The Crown Prosecution Service concluded the full code is not met. There is a not a realistic prospect of conviction.

"Proceedings against Mr Foster cannot and should not be continued."

Mrs Justice Whipple said he would no longer be detained in custody.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Tributes were left at the site of PC Harper's death on the A4 Bath Road

Henry Long, 18, from Reading, and two boys, 17, who cannot be named, are accused of murder and conspiracy to steal a quad bike.

Appearing at the Old Bailey, Mr Long was remanded in custody, while the two other defendants were remanded in youth detention accommodation.

A plea hearing has been set for 13 December, with a trial expected to take place on 9 March.

Thomas King, 21, from Basingstoke, has been charged with conspiracy to steal a quad bike and also appeared.

He was granted conditional bail until 13 December.

PC Harper, 28, from Wallingford in Oxfordshire, was killed on the A4 Bath Road as he attended a reported break-in.

A post-mortem examination found the officer, who got married four weeks earlier, died of multiple injuries.

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