Pc Andrew Harper: Murder accused Jed Foster 'denies any involvement' in officer's death

Chris Parsons
News Editor
A court artist's impression sketch of Jed Foster appearing at Reading Magistrates Court charged with the murder of PC Andrew Harper (PA)

The man charged with Pc Andrew Harper’s murder today denied ‘any involvement’ in his death during his first appearance in court.

Jed Foster, 20, denied “any involvement in the horrific murder” of Pc Harper, who was killed last Thursday night while attending a suspected burglary in Berkshire.

Foster was charged with his murder on Monday evening after investigators at Thames Valley Police were granted an extra 24 hours to question 10 suspects.

He is further charged with the theft of a quad bike.

Charged: Jed Foster denies “any involvement in the horrific murder” of Pc Andrew Harper (SWNS/ PA)

Thames Valley Police constable Pc Harper, 28, died from multiple injuries after being dragged under a vehicle after being mowed down in Sulhamstead, Berkshire.

Foster appeared at Reading Magistrates Court on Tuesday, wearing a grey prison-issue tracksuit.

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

Foster, from Burghfield, near Reading was not asked to enter pleas to the charges brought against him, as members of Pc Harper’s family watched from the packed public gallery.

Pc Andrew Harper: Jed Foster pictured at Reading Magistrates Court on Tuesday morning. (SWNS)

District Judge Davinder Lachhar remanded him in custody until Wednesday, when he will appear again at Reading Crown Court.

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.

Devastated: The family of Pc Andrew Harper arriving at Reading Magistrates Court where Jed Foster was charged with the murder of Pc Harper.

Speaking outside court, standing next to Foster’s mother, Jo, who was clutching a teddy bear, Mr Jacques gave a statement to reporters.

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

“Following the death of PC Harper in Berkshire, the Crown Prosecution Service has today authorised Thames Valley police to charge Jed Foster, 20, with murder and the theft of a quad bike,” said the chief crown prosecutor, Jaswant Narwal on Monday.

“We will offer to meet with PC Harper’s family to explain the basis of the decision we have made following a lengthy review of the evidence available.”

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.

A police officer outside Reading Magistrates Court where Jed Foster appeared on Tuesday. (PA)
Tributes, including a box containing a photograph and PC Harper's shoulder number, 510 left near the scene where Thames Valley Police officer Pc Andrew Harper, 28, died (PA)

The remaining nine have been bailed until September 13.

Pc Harper had been married for just a month before he was killed. He and his wife Lissie were due to go on their honeymoon in the coming weeks.

On Monday evening, Lissie Harper paid tribute to her husband, describing him as “the kindest, loveliest, most selfless” person.

“We had so many plans for the future, you wanted to do it all. My darling boy I do not know how I will be able to survive without you.

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.”

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