PC Andrew Harper jury discharged after three jurors go into self-isolation

A judge has discharged the jury in the trial of three teenagers for the murder of PC Andrew Harper after three jurors went into self-isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It was announced last week that all new criminal trials due to last longer than three days would be put on hold as part of ongoing government efforts to delay the spread of coronavirus.

Hero police officer Andrew Harper was killed in the line of duty.

Three teenagers are on trial for the murder of PC Harper, who died during a police chase in the village of Sulhamstead near Reading, Berkshire on August 15, 2019.

Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett announced the suspension of the trial, minutes before Mr Justice Edis discharged the jury in the Old Bailey trial

The first juror to enter self isolation had to be discharged after coming down with a "horrific cold", while the second juror was discharged after her young son fell ill with symptoms similar to those associated with coronavirus.

The trial temporarily continued with 10 jurors before Lord Burnett's announcement on Monday.

Lord Burnett said: "As the Prime Minister has been telling the country, the spread of COVID-19 has continued to accelerate.

"The clear message from Government is to take all precautions to avoid unnecessary contact.

"A review of the arrangements in our courts is called for.

"I have decided that we need to pause jury trials for a short time to enable appropriate precautions to be put in place."

Henry Long, 18, from Mortimer, and two 17-year-old boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons, deny murder charges.

  • Teenagers
  • Courts

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