Statement released on behalf of Deborah Adlam, mother of PC Andrew Harper
Main article content
“I’m Mum to PC Andrew Harper.
“My blue eyed rosy cheeked, funny and wonderful first born son.
“You have no idea how glad I am the trial has now finished. The results are what they are, and now we have to try and live the rest of our lives without Andrew and instead with a huge heavy weight in our broken hearts.
“I’m unable to explain the enormity of what I am feeling and struggling with since we were woken on 16th August 2019 with a knock on the door, 4.45am.
“Andrew was gone. Killed in the line of duty.
“Trying to accept this is a daily struggle and we have barely begun.
“The detail since then has been utterly dreadful and I do not think we will ever come to terms with it.
“My fit healthy happy brilliant son died purely because these boys chose to steal a quad bike. I personally have not seen, heard or felt a glimmer of any remorse. In fact, we have seen the opposite, with Long, Bowers and Cole repeatedly laughing and showing a complete lack of respect during the court proceedings.
“My family and I feel broken - can you imagine any of your loved ones suffering such a terrible end and with such indignity? The pain we now live with is endless, Andrew was literally ripped from our family while we slept.
“I often just wander round my house, not knowing what to do with myself - because I cannot do anything that helps. I have not been able to work for fear of breaking down. I hardly sleep, waking every hour or so every night, I have no motivation for even daily routine chores such as cooking a meal. It just all feels pointless. This is my new normal, my reality and I desperately fear losing my other son or my step-daughter. I’m told this is a natural reaction.
“All the excitement for Andrew’s future has been taken so cruelly away. He will never get to be called Daddy, and hold his own child, and we’d imagined there was a good chance that was not too far away in the future. Andrew has always loved children, since a young boy we have many photos with his big toothy grin, lovingly holding a baby niece or nephew.
“Andrew’s brother is trying to continue with his life in a way that he knows Andrew would want for him. They were best friends as well as brothers. They would holiday together and spend many hours bouncing off each other with laughter whether on the Xbox or rollerblading, and play fighting was always lively especially when they reached their twenties and it continued! My 6ft 5ins giants hitting each other hard while roaring with laughter! They just loved it. And I loved listening to them.
“I had to wake his brother that morning on the 16th August and tell him his brother was gone.
“Andrew’s younger step-sister has spent the last few months looking out for me despite losing her big brother. She looked up to him and adored him as did Andrew’s whole family including grandparents and Andrew’s step-dad among others. We will all now have to live with what has happened. This has caused a ripple effect which has had such a huge impact on so many of Andrew’s family members and friends.
“Andrew was such a good man. A brave and caring person, so funny and uplifting, whose actions have positively impacted many lives. I love and miss him dearly, daily and with every passing moment.
“The only thing I know for sure, is no matter what, Andrew will remain our pride and joy and will be loved forever. My heart may be broken but you will always be in the centre of it.
“I would like to thank the QC’s and Thames Valley Police force for the hard and endless hours of work to bring the case to court. It has been so difficult for many of you knowing what you do about what happened. I also say thank you to our Family Liaison Officers for helping me through some of the darkest days I have ever experienced. I don’t know how I would still be here without you.
“My tribute also is to all decent and brave serving officers who live their lives protecting others. In these challenging times for the Police, each of you belong to someone and I hope they get to keep you safe and sound. I am so proud of you all.
“To each of the officers and paramedics, and all who looked after Andrew in his last few moments and the days that followed. I thank you so much. You were there when he needed you the most and you were there for him. I hope you find peace and comfort in knowing this.
“Thank you as well to all the members of the public who have offered so much support and who continue to do so. I am so grateful that so many people have thought about Andrew and have taken the time to pay their respects to him. I have taken such a lot of comfort from this.
“Rest In Eternal Peace Andrew - please visit if you can 💙 Mum x.”
I missed autumn I bowed my head for a while When we lost you And like autumn you were gone x