Image copyright PA Media Image caption 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.
Image caption Lissie Harper was the passenger on her husband’s motorcycle (nearest to the camera) , which was ridden by her brother Jake Beckett
Image copyright PA Media Image caption Bikers from all over the country travelled to the RAF base before setting off at about midday.
Image copyright Sian Sloper Image caption 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
Image copyright PA Media Image caption 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
Image copyright PA Media Image caption Memorial plaques and police flags were attached to many of the bikes taking part
Image caption 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
Image copyright Family handout Image caption 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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