Harry Dunn’s family ‘horrified’ as United States government advise killer Anne Sacoolas not to attend UK sentencing

6 December 2022, 14:31 | Updated: 10 June 2024, 12:48

US citizen Anne Sacoolas admitted causing the death of Harry Dunn by careless driving
US citizen Anne Sacoolas admitted causing the death of Harry Dunn by careless driving. Picture: Alamy

By Danielle DeWolfe

The US driver who killed 19-year-old motorcyclist Harry Dunn has been advised by her employer, the United States government, not to attend her sentencing hearing in the UK.

Anne Sacoolas, 45, had her diplomatic immunity invoked by the US government following the collision and proceeded to leave the UK 19 days after the accident.

Mr Dunn's family spokesman, Radd Seiger, said the family were "horrified" at the US government's intervention in the case.

Radd Seiger, a spokesman for the Dunn family, said the US government was "actively interfering in our criminal justice system" by allowing Anne Sacoolas to appear via videolink.

Usually, Sacoolas would be required to travel to London’s Old Bailey from the United States for the hearing, which will take place on Thursday.

Harry Dunn's family outside court
Harry Dunn's family outside court. Picture: Alamy

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"Harry's family are victims of a serious crime and they have been kept in the dark completely about what is to come at Thursday's hearing since Mrs Sacoolas's guilty plea on October 20," Mr Seiger said.

Sacoolas, a US citizen, was found to be driving on the wrong side of the road near RAF Croughton, a US air base in Northamptonshire, when she collided with Dunn’s motorcycle in August 2019.

Confirming a renewed videolink application had been granted, an Old Bailey spokesman said: "The application made jointly by the prosecution and defence for Mrs Sacoolas to participate and be sentenced by live link, has been renewed.

"The defence have supplied material in support of the application including evidence that Mrs Sacoolas' government employer has advised her not to attend in person.

"The judge has granted the application."

US citizen Anne Sacoolas admitted causing the death of Harry Dunn by careless driving
US citizen Anne Sacoolas admitted causing the death of Harry Dunn by careless driving. Picture: Alamy

Denying her charge of causing death by dangerous driving, Sacoolas subsequently pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of causing death by careless driving.

At her plea hearing, presiding judge Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb encouraged Sacoolas to attend her impending UK sentencing, however admitted she had little power to enforce such a recommendation.

Shortly after, Sacoolas's legal team are believed to have been granted their renewed application for her to appear at the Old Bailey via video-link on Thursday.

"We are horrified to learn that the United States government is now actively interfering in our criminal justice system,” added Seiger on behalf of the Dunn family.

"Their ongoing cruel treatment of Harry's parents is nothing short of inhumane and it continues to take a heavy toll on their mental health."

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