Harry Dunn's parents fly to the US to put pressure on the White House to 'do the right thing'

Daily Mail Online 1 month ago
Harry Dunn (pictured) died when his motorbike crashed into a car outside an RAF base on August 27

Harry Dunn's grieving parents are set to fly to the US to put pressure on the White House to 'do the right thing', as Dominic Raab says the US intelligence official's wife does not have diplomatic immunity.

Mr Dunn died when his motorbike crashed into a Volvo allegedly driving on the wrong side of the road, outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on August 27.

The suspect, 42-year-old Anne Sacoolas - who is married to a US intelligence official - was granted diplomatic immunity following the crash.

But Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has written to Mr Dunn's family about Mrs Sacoolas and, reportedly said: 'The US have now informed us that they too consider that immunity is no longer pertinent.'

'We have pressed strongly for a waiver of immunity, so that justice can be done ... Whilst the US government has steadfastly declined to give that waiver, that is not the end of the matter,' the BBC quoted Mr Raab's letter saying.

'We have looked at this very carefully ... the UK government's position is that immunity, and therefore any question of waiver, is no longer relevant in Mrs Sacoolas' case, because she has returned home.' 

The devastated family have not been able to grieve since the crash, and Mr Dunn's non-identical twin brother Niall has taken the news the hardest, as the teenagers were 'extremely close.'

A letter from Dominic Raab says the question of Sacoolas's diplomatic immunity is 'no longer relevant'
A letter from Dominic Raab says the question of Sacoolas's diplomatic immunity is 'no longer relevant'
Harry, right, and Niall, aged three. Niall has taken news of his brother's death particularly hard as the two were 'extremely close'
 Harry, right, and Niall, aged three. Niall has taken news of his brother's death particularly hard as the two were 'extremely close'

Harry's mother, Charlotte Charles, told The Sunday Times:  'It's really hard, extra hard, for Niall , he is not a talker — he tends to bottle things up quite a lot — but we know he's feeling it.

'They were chalk and cheese. Harry would be out there riding his motorbike all the time but Niall loved being at home.

'He's shut in the other room at the moment but he keeps up with everything on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and all those. We keep in touch with him every hour to check on him but we don't give him information unless he asks for it.

'He absolutely wants Sacoolas to come back to the UK and face justice. He really does want that to happen. He feels the same as us. He just doesn't understand why she's been allowed to walk away.'

Mr Dunn's parents Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn have said they would be flying to New York where they will give interviews for television shows, and then later go to Washington to meet politicians.

Harry's heartbroken mother added her son 'would have loved' to explore New York.

She said:  'My husband is a US citizen so we've flown into New York many times and driven to visit family living on the coast, but we have actually never slept there.

'We are going to be now. We wish it was in different circumstances.'

The 19-year-old victim's parents, Charlotte Charles (pictured) and Tim Dunn, have now decided to take their fight to the US
The 19-year-old victim's parents, Charlotte Charles (pictured) and Tim Dunn, have now decided to take their fight to the US

Meanwhile Mrs Sacoolas' legal representative Amy Jeffress, from the law firm Arnold and Porter, last night said: 'Anne is devastated by this tragic accident.

'No loss compares to the death of a child and Anne extends her deepest sympathy to Harry Dunn's family.' 

The 'excellent news' according to Mr Dunn comes at the same time as legal discussions have opened between the two parties.  

Radd Seiger, who is representing Mr Dunn's family, told ITV News he had spoken to Mrs Sacoolas' legal team 'very briefly' over the phone after arriving in the US on Saturday.

He said: 'We have agreed to meet each other at the earliest possibility as soon as we can co-ordinate our diaries.'

The suspect, 42-year-old Anne Sacoolas (pictured) - who is reportedly married to a US intelligence official, was granted diplomatic immunity following the crash

It is the first contact between both parties since Mrs Sacoolas left the UK.

Mrs Sacoolas' lawyer said: 'Anne would like to meet with Mr Dunn's parents so that she can express her deepest sympathies and apologies for this tragic accident.

'We have been in contact with the family's attorneys and look forward to hearing from them.'

The lawyer said Mrs Sacoolas spoke with 'authorities' at the scene of the crash and met Northampton police at her home the following day.

'She will continue to cooperate with the investigation,' the lawyer said.

He also told Sky News it was a 'positive step forward', saying: 'It's a great sign (Mrs Sacoolas' lawyer has) reached out to us and we will be engaging in embracing those discussions as openly and as positively as we always do.'

It is understood to be the first contact between the two parties since Sacoolas left the UK after she was granted diplomatic immunity following the crash. 

It raises hopes that a major row between the US and UK governments could be avoided. 

The victim's parents have also decided to take their fight to the US.  

Spokesman Radd Seiger (centre) said he has had a brief phone conversation with Sacoolas's lawyers
Spokesman Radd Seiger (centre) said he has had a brief phone conversation with Sacoolas's lawyers

They said they will visit both New York and Washington DC to gain support from Americans and 'put pressure on the US administration to do the right thing'. 

On Friday, the Prime Minister said America is 'absolutely ruthless' in its safeguarding of Mrs Sacoolas following the decision to grant her immunity.

Boris Johnson said although President Trump was sympathetic towards Harry's family's views on the use of diplomatic immunity, the US are 'very reluctant' to allow citizens to be tried abroad.

Speaking of taking their campaign to the US, Harry's family said in a statement that they 'continue to live in a nightmare' and have so far been unable to grieve after his death.

A statement released on behalf of the family said: 'As if losing Harry was not enough, they now find themselves having to expend enormous time and energy, which they can ill afford, generating sufficient publicity to garner public support to persuade the US government to help achieve closure and return the driver Mrs Sacoolas to England to face the consequences of her actions.

'If it had been done sooner it would have saved a life': Signs reminding motorists to 'drive on the left' appear on the road where Harry Dunn, 19, was 'killed by US diplomat's wife'

    New road signs and markings have appeared outside the RAF base where teenager Harry Dunn was killed after being hit by a car driving on the wrong side of the road.

    Arrows indicating the direction of travel have been painted on both sides of the road as well as a 'please drive on left' sign. 

    The markings have appeared by the RAF Croughton base in Northamptonshire where Harry Dunn was knocked down on his motorbike in August.

    New road signs and markings have appeared outside the RAF base where teenager Harry Dunn was killed
    New road signs and markings have appeared outside the RAF base where teenager Harry Dunn was killed

    Some local residents said it was 'unbelievable' drivers had to be reminded which lane to travel in, while others said the signs had come too late. 

    Ian Parkes said on Facebook: 'Just a simple thing that had it been done sooner could have saved a life. It is so tragic and not the first time it's happened outside a US base.'

    Another local said: 'It's unbelievable, the idea that top intelligence officers can't remember which side to drive on.' 

    The car which crashed into Harry was allegedly driven by the wife of a US diplomat, Anne Sacoolas and police said they had CCTV footage of her driving on the wrong side of the road.

    After the crash, she returned to the US and claimed diplomatic immunity meaning she would not be able to be prosecuted in the UK.  


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