The wife of a newlywed police officer who died as he attended reports of a burglary has described him as “the kindest, loveliest, most selfless” person.
Lissie Harper had been married to Pc Andrew Harper when he died last Thursday evening after being dragged under the wheels of a vehicle.
Jed Foster, 20, has been charged with murder, while a further nine suspects were released under investigation.
Mrs Harper paid tribute to her late husband on Monday evening in a heartbreaking open letter.
She wrote: “To my best friend. The kindest, loveliest, most selfless person you will ever meet. You were brave, funny, and always there for anyone who needed it.
“There is not enough paper in the world to even begin to write a tribute for you, but no one deserves it more.
“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.”
“Anyone who was lucky enough to meet you, whether they knew you as Andrew, Andy, Uncle Mann, Harps or Pc Harper … to everyone you are a hero.
“You had the best sense of humour and never took life too seriously. You treasured every moment and always had a smile on your face.
“I want to be angry that your job took you away from us but I know you loved it and always wanted to keep everyone safe, especially me. You went the extra mile whenever you could and genuinely cared for everyone.
“The lights have dimmed on all of our lives now that you are no longer here, but it’s no surprise that even when you’re gone, you’re still keeping us all going, knowing that you would tell us to carry on and stay strong.
“I can’t begin to imagine a life without your silly jokes, size 14 feet, large appetite, big hugs, Sunday roasts, and never faltering positive attitude. You kept me going if I was down and took care of us all until the last.
“Even now I can still hear you nagging me to brush my teeth, get dressed and eat something. We are all feeling so very lost without you but we are trying to be as brave as you were.
“You have so, so many friends my love and everyone loves you. The messages, support, and kind words about you have been overwhelming and I can’t thank everyone enough for that.
“You loved music, movies, travel, every animal in the world, messing around with our brothers, and chilling out with our sisters. You loved our families, every single one.
“You loved to go on adventures and find new places to explore. If there was a mountain to climb, you’d be there at the top. Bike rides and long walks, you loved it all. Never still, never down, so full of life.
“You could fix absolutely anything and always took time to offer help to family, friends and neighbours. A pillar of strength to everyone you met.
“My heart is broken without you my sweetheart but my god I feel so lucky that it was me you chose to share your amazing life with. You have imprinted so much love and laughter onto all of our lives and we are honoured for that.
“Although we were married for only 28 days before you were cruelly taken away from me, my husband you were perfect. I will never ever stop loving you and I feel so grateful for the happiest 13 years of my life.
“Our superman, our bodyguard, our light in the dark. My god we will miss you. Forever you will be remembered as the best of us.
“I will carry your love with me always.
“Your loving wife, Lissie x”
First man charged with murdering newlywed police officer
A 20-year-old man has been charged with the murder of a police officer who died after being dragged under the wheels of a vehicle.
Jed Foster is accused of killing newlywed Andrew Harper while responding to reports of a burglary in the Berkshire village of Bradfield, Southend, at 11.30pm on August 15.
The 28-year-old constable died from multiple injuries close to the nearby village of Sulhamstead after being dragged under a vehicle and possibly hit by a police car.
Foster is due to appear at Reading Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday. He is also charged with the theft of a quad bike.
Thames Valley Police arrested 10 men and boys – the youngest aged 13 – on the site of a nearby caravan park within an hour of the incident.
The nine remaining suspects were released on bail until Friday September 13.
Chief crown prosecutor Jaswant Narwal said: “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.
“May I remind all concerned that criminal proceedings against Mr Foster are now active and that he has a right to a fair trial.
“It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”
Donations have poured in to support Pc Harper’s bereaved family, with a Just Giving appeal by fellow officers reaching six figures within the first day.
The fundraising page set up by Thames Valley Police Federation to support the officer’s widow, Lissie, and his family broke the £100,000 mark on Sunday night with donations continuing to pour in.
It reads: “We confront danger on a daily basis. We know there is a risk when we put on the uniform but we do so as we are proud to protect the public.
“Sadly, on very rare and horrendous occasions, a colleague makes the ultimate sacrifice. We will ensure that heroism is never forgotten.”