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PA Media

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A sea of motorcycles packed out RAF Benson, the starting point for the journey

The widow of a police officer who was killed in the line of duty has led almost 5,000 motorcyclists in a “ride of respect” in his honour.

PC Andrew Harper, 28, died as he responded to reports of a burglary in Sulhamstead, Berkshire, on 15 August.

His wife Lissie, followed closely by other family members, led the huge convoy on a 15-mile route from RAF Benson to Abingdon Airfield in Oxfordshire.

Sian Sloper, who organised the ride, said she was “overwhelmed” by the support shown.


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Lissie Harper was the passenger on her husband’s motorcycle (nearest to the camera) , which was ridden by her brother Jake Beckett

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PA Media

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Bikers from all over the country travelled to the RAF base before setting off at about midday.

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Sian Sloper

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Sian Sloper said she decided to organise the ride “to do something nice and bring the community together”, before news of the event attracted interest from across the country

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PA Media

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Members of the public also gathered along the route to show their support as the collection of bikes, trikes, pillions and even a tuk-tuk went past

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PA Media

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Memorial plaques and police flags were attached to many of the bikes taking part

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Organisers said “a lot of money” had been raised for PC Harper’s family and designated charities. An RAF Benson spokesman said: “There were motorcycles as far as the eye can see.” He said bikers started leaving “in groups of about 500” from midday, and “by 2pm they were probably only half-way through”. PC Harper’s family was “overwhelmed with the support when they arrived”, he added

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Family handout

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PC Harper, from Wallingford, died from multiple injuries after he was struck on the A4 Bath Road. Suspects Henry Long, 18, from Mortimer in 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. Thomas King, 21, from Basingstoke, is also accused of conspiracy to steal a quad bike.

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Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk

 

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