Criminals who kill aid workers in England or Wales on the job are likely to face automatic life sentences in the future. The widow of the dead officer Andrew Harper is campaigning for this and has received the government’s support.
He says he wants to introduce a Harper’s Law (Harper’s Law) as soon as possible, British media report.
The 28-year-old officer Harper was killed in 2019. He had arrived at a report of a break-in and had been dragged away by a getaway car. The officer’s injuries were so severe that a colleague no longer recognized him. Three teens were later sentenced to 16 and 13 years in prison for manslaughter.
Widow Lissie Harper reacted shocked to that statement at the time. She then successfully campaigned to tighten up legislation. The government now wants to stipulate that judges must impose life sentences on people who cause the death of a care worker during criminal activities. An exception can only be made in “very exceptional circumstances”.
Interior Minister Priti Patel thanked the widow for her efforts. She said it is “justifiable that future killers are being deprived of the right to roam the streets through life in prison.” Lissie Harper is happy about that and said her husband would have been proud. The new rules may come into effect early next year, according to the BBC.