Lissie Harper has written an emotional tribute to her husband one year after they were married.
PC Harper was killed after he was dragged behind a car for 1.4 miles at an average speed of 42.5 mph.
The car PC Harper was being dragged behind was being driven by Henry Long after he, Jesse Cole and Albert Bowers had just carried out a balaclava-clad raid on a private dwelling, armed with various weapons, including an axe.
After they raided their victim’s property, they attempted to leave the scene with a £10,000 quad bike, but the trio of thieves were stopped by PC Andrew Harper and his colleague who managed to find them as they tried to make off with the stolen quad bike.
In her moving tribute to her late husband, Lissie Harper said:
‘twelve months since I walked down an aisle of incandescent light. Oh, how it feels like only yesterday that I stood in front of a vision of hope and happiness and love.
‘The proud excitement reflected on both of our faces. We had never been happier than that moment that we exchanged previous words and bands of gold, connected for eternity.
‘The tears in your eyes that only I could see and the sheer happiness radiating from mine.
‘I will never again know love like that. No one will ever know a love like ours. A story of beautiful souls and an unbreakable bond. A most perfect day that will swim in my mind in spectacular technicoloured memory forever.
‘This day should have been wildly different, instead of celebrating with you on our first anniversary, I am alone in utter disbelief. How surreal it is that these days one year apart are at complete parallels, like a different world entirely.
‘One of dazzling light and the other of endless sprawling dark.
‘Every cliche my mind could ever conjure up is so blindingly accurate. I feel as though I have lost a limb, except it’s so much worse than that, because actually I’ve lost the best part of myself.
‘What I wouldn’t give to be back on that beautiful sunny day dressed in which with your hand in mine and a lifetime of happiness swirling around our minds.
‘I miss you more than it is ever possible. I love you doesn’t even come close to how my heart aches for yours. I will spend the rest of my days never understanding the meaning of this cruelty, how the bad are allowed to live and simply perfect souls are taken from this place of wondrous beauty, natural creations, injustice and bewildering pain.
‘My heart belongs to you, and my mind will forever remain the memory box that holds your smile, your laugh, your idiosyncrasies and every sweet second we had together.
‘I love you eternally my husband’.
Long, Cole and Albert have all been convicted of the manslaughter of PC Harper, but many people had been hoping for a guilty murder verdict.
One of the female jurors was dismissed from the jury after it transpired she had been smiling at the killers during the trial. A court security officer overheard her as she waved and said ‘bye boys’ after the judge had finished summing the case up.
Following the guilty manslaughter verdict, a petition was set up entitled ‘overturn a miscarriage of justice’. The petition attracted 188,268 signatures thus far, with thousands of names being added to it each day.
Commenting on the petition, Andrew’s mum, Debbie, said:
‘Andrew James Harper is my son. I am disgusted that he has been let down. When they crossed the junction on [the] A4 there’s no way they did not know he was there being thrown against the pavements.
‘Utterly and bitterly disgusted with the outcome.
‘Andrew went to work to serve us all. And this is how he was repaid.
After the verdict, Long, Bowers and Cole were seen to hold the hands of each other as they smiled while their family could be heard cheering nearby.
Lissie also made an emotional statement outside of the court following the verdict, in which she spoke about her enduring pain at the tragic loss of her husband.
Long, Bowers and Cole are due to be sentenced on Friday 31st July. The maximum sentence for manslaughter is life in prison.