5,000 motorcyclists join ‘ride of respect’ to honour PC Andrew Harper

PC Andrew Harper, who was killed in the line of duty, is honoured by almost 5,000 motorcyclists in a charity ride in Oxfordshire

PC Andrew Harper

The widow of PC Andrew Harper, who was killed in the line of duty, has led a huge turnout for a charity ‘ride of respect’ held in his honour in Oxfordshire.

PC Andrew Harper, 28, died of multiple injuries when he was dragged under a van on August 15 while responding to reports of a burglary near a village Sulhamstead, Berkshire.

He died only four weeks after marrying his new wife Lissie Harper.

Lissie Harper led the procession on the back of her late husband’s motorcycle, ridden by her brother Jake Beckett. 

"I wish I could thank you all personally but I hope this will suffice,” she wrote on Facebook. “I know that it was a long day with lots of waiting in the cold, but I can't tell you how proud I was when I saw every biker and pillion lined up waiting to begin.

"You have all touched my heart and given me hope again."

It went on a 15-mile journey from RAF Benson to Abingdon Airfield in Oxfordshire on Sunday 28, with the ride attracting almost 5,000 motorcyclists and raising more than £16,000 in his memory for designated charities and PC Harper’s family.

The ride was organised by Sian Sloper, who said she felt compelled to ‘do something nice and bring the community together, before the event attracted interest from across the country and grew in size.

A number of motorcycles wore plaques in remembrance, while motorcycles that took part were a combination of motorbikes, trikes, pillions and even a tuk-tuk.

An RAF Benson spokesman said: "There were motorcycles as far as the eye can see. [Thebikers started leaving] in groups of about 500 and by 2pm they were probably only half-way through". 

PC Harper's family was "overwhelmed with the support when they arrived.”

Henry Long, 18, from Reading and two 17-year-old boys who cannot be named because of their age have been charged with murder and conspiracy to steal a quad bike.