A MAN charged with murder after the death of a police officer has denied all involvement after appearing in court.

Jed Foster, of Pingewood Road S near Burghfield, Reading, spoke only to confirm his name and address as he stood in the dock of Reading Magistrates’ Court this morning.

He wore a prison-issue grey tracksuit as he stood in the dock in front of a packed public gallery. 

The 20-year-old faces a charge of murder and one of theft with others unknown of a quad bike belonging to Peter Wallis in Bradfield Southend.

He was not asked to enter pleas at the hearing. 

It comes after Abingdon-based officer PC Andrew Harper died while on duty.

The 28-year-old police officer was responding to reports of a burglary when it happened on the A4 Bath Road in Berkshire on Thursday night.

Local Berkshire: Pc Andrew Harper

The court heard today from Mr Foster's defence Rob Jacques who said the defendant 'strongly denies any involvement in the horrific murder of PC Harper'.

Local Berkshire:

He also urged the police to conduct a thorough investigation.

Mr Jacques said outside the court: "On behalf of him and his family, he emphatically denies any responsibility or involvement in the horrific murder of PC Andrew Harper.

"We urge the police to follow every single line of enquiry to prove who is responsible and to ensure there is justice in this case.

"We also urge any member of the public who has information, however difficult it is for them, to come forward and liaise with the police."

Local Berkshire:

Foster is expected to next appear before Reading Crown Court tomorrow at 9.30am.

Chief Crown Prosecutor Jaswant Narwal, said in a statement yesterday: “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.”