Accused denies role in ‘horrific murder’ of Pc Andrew Harper

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A man accused of killing a police officer while he investigated a burglary has denied any involvement in his “horrific murder”.

Jed Foster, 20, is charged over the death of 28-year-old newlywed Pc Andrew Harper on Thursday evening in the village of Sulhamstead in Berkshire.

The Thames Valley Police constable died from multiple injuries after being dragged under a vehicle.

Members of Pc Harper’s family watched from the packed public gallery as Foster stood in the dock wearing a grey prison-issue tracksuit.

He stood, supported by his own family and friends, to confirm his name, date of birth and address during a hearing which lasted around three minutes.

Police officer killed in Sulhamstead
The family of Pc Andrew Harper arrive at Reading Magistrates’ Court (Julia Saqui/PA)

His lawyer, Rob Jacques, said: “On behalf of him and his family I want to say three things. He denies any involvement in the horrific murder of Pc Harper.

“We urge the police to follow all lines of inquiry and for the public to come forward and co-operate.”

Foster was handcuffed before he left the dock, while there was a heavy police presence at court.

Police officer killed in Sulhamstead
Jo, the mother of Jed Foster, with his stepfather (name not given) outside Reading Magistrates’ Court (Steve Parsons/PA)

“He denies any involvement in the murder of Pc Harper,” he said.

“He and I and the family urge the police to follow every single inquiry to establish who did, who was responsible, so that justice is delivered for Pc Harper.

“It’s an extremely difficult investigation and we urge any members of the public who have information to co-operate with the police, no matter how difficult that is.”

Foster was charged on Monday evening after investigators at Thames Valley Police were granted an extra 24 hours to question 10 suspects, with the remaining nine bailed until September 13.

All 10 suspects were arrested within an hour of the incident at a nearby caravan park.

The youngest was just 13 years old, while the oldest was 30.

Andrew Harper and his wife Lissie
Pc Andrew Harper and his wife Lissie (Thames Valley Police/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.”

People, including families with small children, continued to leave floral tributes at the scene on Tuesday.

Members of the Armed Forces and two armed police officers, one of whom appeared emotional as he placed a bunch of flowers, were among those seen paying their respects.

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