A TEENAGE driver accused of murdering a young PC told his passengers to “shut up” and “put the music on” as he dragged the officer to his death, a court has heard.
Henry Long, 19, said he had no idea PC Andrew Harper, 28, had become tangled in a tow rope attached to his Seat Toledo.
Long drove off in an alleged bid to evade arrest, speeding at up to 42mph for more than a mile on winding country lanes before PC Harper finally became dislodged.
The officer suffered horrific injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene near the A4 in Berkshire.
Giving evidence at the Old Bailey on Tuesday, Long said he felt “disgraceful” about what happened – adding: “If I was aware, I would have stopped the vehicle, tried to save him.”
The defendant has admitted PC Harper’s manslaughter, but denied intending to harm him.
Prosecutors claim Long had been attempting to steal a £10,000 quad bike from a house in Stanford Dingley, Berkshire, on the evening of August 15 last year.
The defendant failed in his initial bid to take the bike before returning under cover of darkness with Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers, both 18, the court heard.
The three rolled the bike away and attached it to the Seat with a tow.
Confronted in the road by PC Harper’s police patrol car, Cole got out to unhook the bike, the court has heard.
Long told jurors: “I would not leave anybody behind so I waited for him.”
Defence barrister Rossano Scamardella QC said: “Were you aware that PC Harper had got caught in the rope at the back?”
Long said: “No.”
Describing the getaway, he said: “The car was always in gear rolling.
“Once Cole jumped in, I just revved the throttle and went.”
Long told jurors he drove fast, even on tight corners.
Asked why, he said: “Because I have had experience with police chases before.
“I knew where the police were going to be waiting for us.”
He told the court his passengers were shouting at him to “go this way, go that way, slow down”, and said: “I got annoyed because I’m trying to concentrate on getting away and people telling me how to drive, telling me what to do.
“I told them to shut the f*** up, let me drive, put the music on.”
Mr Scamardella asked: “Could you hear anything during that stretch of the journey being dragged behind you?”
Long denied that he’d heard or noticed anything.
Jurors at the Old Bailey have previously heard how the officer’s clothes were ripped from his body as he was “swung side-to-side like a pendulum”.
His body had become dislodged by the time his colleague, PC Andrew Shaw, came across him “barely alive”.
Within hours of PC Harper’s death, Long and his two passengers Albert Bowers and Jessie Cole, both 18, were arrested.
Long initially denied involvement in the incident and told police in a prepared statement that he had been watching The Goonies and Fast And Furious DVDs.
Long, Bowers and Cole, from near Reading, have denied Pc Harper’s murder but admitted conspiracy to steal the quad bike.
Long accepted that he had killed PC Harper today.
Defence barrister Rossano Scamardella QC said: “You pleaded guilty to manslaughter – why?
Long replied: “Because I accept that I killed him from what I was doing, the way I was driving.”
The lawyer asked: “How do you feel?” The defendant said: “Disgraceful.”
Long told jurors he could not sleep and thought about PC Harper’s family.
The defendant said he had been the passenger in cars chased by police before, but this was the first time he was the driver, adding it was “chaotic”.
Long told jurors he lived with his parents and five siblings and was part of the travelling community.
Like his father and grandfather, he was a “thief”, he said, stealing quad bikes and mechanical equipment.
On his father and grandfather’s occupation, he said: “It’s not a proud thing to admit.”
Long had been taken out of school by his father in year eight after being given a detention, the court heard.
Driver Long, Bowers and Cole deny murder.
Long admits manslaughter. Their Old Bailey trial continues.