PC Andrew Harper's killers' legal aid bill to soar even higher as driver tries to appeal 16-year jail-term

THE amount of taxpayer cash handed to PC Andrew Harper's smirking killers for their legal aid bills is set to soar after all three lodged appeals.

The Sun revealed that £465k has already been handed to driver Henry Long, 19, and his co-defendants Albert Bowers and Jessie Cole, both 18.

PC Harper's widow Lissie, 29, has blasted the huge bill spent on defending the thugs – and said: 'Now we know the cost of injustice.'

But it's now been revealed that Long wants his sentence slashed – adding to the staggering cost.

A Judiciary spokesman confirmed the appeal, which comes days after Bowers and Cole lodged applications seeking permission to challenge their convictions and sentences.

However, the prison sentences given to all three have already been referred to the Court of Appeal by the Attorney General – because it's believed they could be too lenient.

Today, PC Harper's grief-stricken mum Debbie Adlam said: "My family and I totally respect anyone's right to appeal against their sentence. We live in a fair society.

"However, this news, coming as it does on the very last day that he had to put in his appeal, is simply another kick in the stomach that leaves us all feeling awful.

"We will recover from this as we have to do, but my thoughts today are absolutely with my heroic son, who gave his life trying to protect others.

"Those responsible for his loss will not live rent free in my head."

The officer's widow has vowed to continue her fight for Harper's Law after news of the legal aid costs were revealed.

She told the Daily Mail: "Not only did we not get justice for Andrew, we now know the cost of that injustice.

"This just doesn't seem right or fair.

"Andrew was my whole life.

"I have had to sit in a courtroom and witness the people who chose to take my husband's life show no remorse."

And Mrs Harper says she believes members of the public will feel the same way.

She said: "I am sure the public – whose support for me has been unstinting – will be as horrified as I am to know how much money is going towards paying this trio's escalating legal costs."

PC Harper, 28, suffered catastrophic injuries when he was dragged behind a getaway car in Bradfield Southend, Berks, in August last year.

But Long, Bowers and Cole were all controversially cleared of murder and were instead convicted of manslaughter.

Driver Long got 16 years – which legal teams are set to claim is too high a sentence – while passengers Bowers and Cole both got 13 years.

The cost of defence solicitors during police interviews and then solicitors and barristers for their trial at the Old Bailey last month came to £465,767.
Long got £169,174, Bowers £131,695 and Cole £164,898

Mrs Harper said: “It saddens me — but does not surprise me — that so much public money has been and continues to be spent on defending the indefensible.

“These individuals continue to show no remorse for their heinous crimes., 

“It’s news such as this that makes me more determined than ever to keep on fighting for Harper’s Law, which would mean these despicable criminals are jailed for life.

“That would be an appropriate deterrent and a suitable punishment.”

A source said of the legal aid bill: “It’s a huge sum of money. There’s no doubt the fact two of them are appealing will mean more taxpayers’ cash will be thrown at them.

“It’s already been a very controversial case with a lot of anger at the decision not to find them guilty of murder and the sentences then passed down to them.

"There’s a huge amount of support for Harper’s law.”

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