Debbie Adlam said she had been through “the most painful year of her life” and would like to hope Albert Bowers and Jessie Cole, both 18, will serve lengthy custodial sentences. Both men have lodged applications with the Court of Appeal seeking permission to challenge their convictions and their 13-year sentences for manslaughter. PC Harper, 28, was killed last August when he was dragged behind a car after responding to a 999 call. His three killers were cleared of murder at the Old Bailey last month. Driver Henry Long was jailed for 16 years.
Mrs Adlam said: “We’ve only just come through the first anniversary of Andrew’s death.
“It’s been the most painful year of my life and the trial was absolutely gruelling.
“We clearly didn’t get the justice that we all felt that we deserved – but this application to appeal both conviction and sentence is a further kick in the stomach.
“We will obviously have to leave it up to the judicial system but I’d like to think that I do not live in a country where people can be involved in taking a life whilst committing a crime and be allowed to walk away from it and serve anything other than a lengthy custodial sentence.”
The Attorney General’s Office has already been asked to review PC Harper’s killers’ sentences to consider if they were too lenient. Their cases may be sent to the Court of Appeal for judges to consider increasing their sentences. PC Harper’s widow, Lissie, 29, said going through the criminal trial made her determined to bring about a change in the law.
And she branded the justice system “broken” after her husband’s killers were cleared of murder and then received light sentences. She said: “You expect that process to be fair and at the end of it get some justice, and that just didn’t happen for us.
“Sitting in court and witnessing it all and then getting to the verdict has just made me more determined now to do something.
“If someone has taken someone’s life because of criminal activity they deserve to spend a proportionate amount of their lives in prison.”
She has launched a campaign for Harper’s Law – a campaign for killers of emergency workers to face mandatory life sentences.
“We’ve had so much support from everyone, from members of the public.
“I can’t tell you how many messages I’ve had from people saying, ‘Yes, this needs to happen’.”
“We need to realise just what these people go through on a daily basis. It is not just police officers or paramedics. It is firefighters and prison officers as well. They should have protection.
“Andrew loved his job and was very good at it. He just wanted to protect people.
“Harper’s Law is so important to me and I want to do it for him.”