CPS statement in relation to the investigation into PC Harper’s death

|News, Violent crime

Chief Crown Prosecutor Jaswant Narwal, said: “Following the death of PC Harper in Berkshire, the Crown Prosecution Service has today authorised Thames Valley Police to charge Jed Foster, 20, with murder and the theft of a quad bike.

“We will offer to meet with PC Harper’s family to explain the basis of the decision we have made following a lengthy review of the evidence available.

“May I remind all concerned that criminal proceedings against Mr Foster are now active and that he has a right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”

Notes to editors

Jed Foster (DOB: 22/07/1999) from Reading has been charged with murder in relation to the death of PC Andrew Harper and also theft of a quad bike on Thursday 15 August 2019 in Berkshire and will appear at Reading Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 20 August 2019 at 10am.

The remaining nine people arrested have been released on bail until Friday 13 September 2019.

The review of the evidence was carried out in accordance with the threshold test.

Any decision by the CPS does not imply any finding concerning guilt or criminal conduct; the CPS makes decisions only according to the test set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors and it is applied in all decisions on whether or not to prosecute.

It is not the function of the CPS to decide whether a person is guilty of a criminal offence, but to make fair, independent and objective assessments about whether it is appropriate to present charges for the criminal court to consider.

The CPS assessment of any case is not in any sense a finding of, or implication of, any guilt or criminal conduct. It is not a finding of fact, which can only be made by a court, but rather an assessment of what it might be possible to prove to a court, in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors.

This assessment is based on the evidence available arising out of the police investigation and not on the evidence that is likely to be gathered by the defence, and likely to be used to test the prosecution evidence. The CPS charging decision is therefore necessarily an assessment on the basis of the evidence that is available to the CPS at the time the decision is made.

CPS prosecutors must also keep every case under review, so that they take account of any change in circumstances that occurs as the case develops, including what becomes known of the defence case. If appropriate, the CPS may change the charges or stop a case.

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