Man, 20, accused of murdering PC Andrew Harper will be freed from custody after charge is DROPPED

  • Jed Foster was the first man charged with the murder of Thames Valley officer
  • But the case against him was suddenly dropped today and he will be freed
  • Comes after three new teenage suspects were charged over the killing 

A man who was previously accused of murdering PC Andrew Harper will be released from custody today after the charges against him were suddenly dropped.

Thames Valley Police officer PC Harper died from multiple injuries after being dragged under a vehicle while responding to a burglary near Sulhamstead in Berkshire last month.

Jed Foster, 20, from Mortimer near Reading, was initially charged with murder and remanded in custody following a court appearance last month.

But the Crown Prosecution Service dramatically announced that it had dropped the charges against him this afternoon and he would be free to return home.

PC Andrew Harper (pictured) was killed while responding to a burglary last month. The case against the man initially charged with his murder was dropped today

PC Andrew Harper (pictured) was killed while responding to a burglary last month. The case against the man initially charged with his murder was dropped today

Chief Crown Prosecutor Jaswant Narwal said: 'The CPS has discontinued the case against Jed Foster, 20, in relation to the ongoing investigation into PC Harper’s death in Berkshire. 

'The CPS has now reviewed a full file of evidence from the police and concluded that there is not a realistic prospect of conviction. 

'The decision to charge Mr Foster was taken on the threshold test which is applied when a full file of evidence is not available.'

Mr Foster's case was raised at the Old Bailey this afternoon and he listened to proceedings via a video-link from HMP Woodhill. 

Judge Mrs Justice Whipple told him: 'Mr Foster, I hope you have been able to follow what has been going on in court today.

'The point of interest for you is that the prosecution have served a notice of discontinuance of their case against you that means you are no longer to be detained.'

Mr Foster's lawyer had told a previous court hearing that he denies 'any involvement in the horrific murder of PC Harper'. 

Police officers pay their respects at the scene near Sulhamstead, Berkshire, where Thames Valley Police officer Pc Andrew Harper, 28, died last month

Police officers pay their respects at the scene near Sulhamstead, Berkshire, where Thames Valley Police officer Pc Andrew Harper, 28, died last month

The announcement came after three new suspects - 18-year-old Henry Long and two 17-year-old boys who cannot be named - were charged with PC Harper's killing.

The trio appeared at Reading Magistrates' Court this morning along with a Thomas King, 21, who is accused of conspiracy to steal a quad bike.

Jed Foster's mother and sister had always maintained his innocence.

His mother Jolene Hannington clutched a Superman teddy bear after his appearance in Reading Magistrates' Court on August 20.

She wrote on Facebook: 'I know you can't read this baby, please stay strong. You have many, many messages sending their thoughts. We know you would never be capable of such a horrible, horrific act.

'We will fight this and hopefully someone that knows the truth will come forward and tell the truth or live the rest of their lives knowing they let an innocent boy go away for something he didn't do.

'There's a lot that doesn't add up, statements were not taken from people that could give times and places you were and CCTV wasn't taken either. I love you and behind your innocence all the way. Hang in there, my beautiful boy.'

Last month, his sister Sapphire Cheyanne Foster reportedly posted and then deleted a message a social media message which read: 'Hold it out bubba, we will bring you home if it's the last thing I do. I plea to anyone that knows anything, no matter how trivial you think it may be, come forward - contact the police.

'He is being sent down for something he hasn't done. He is about to lose his whole life and has had his named dragged through the dirt when he isn't even guilty.'

 

Man, 20, accused of murdering PC Andrew Harper sees charge DROPPED

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