Harry Dunn's mother 'in shock' after court hears suspect 'worked for US intelligence'

4 February 2021, 14:16 | Updated: 4 February 2021, 15:19

By Patrick Grafton-Green

The mother of Harry Dunn has said she is "in shock" after a court heard her son's alleged killer was "employed by an intelligence agency in the US" at the time of the fatal road crash.

The revelations, said to be "especially a factor" in Anne Sacoolas's departure from the UK, came out during her application to dismiss a civil claim for damages made against her by the Dunn family.

The Dunn family now wants UK authorities to “urgently investigate” whether she had diplomatic immunity at the time of the incident.

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Mr Dunn’s mother Charlotte Charles told LBC: “Hearing that last night, I pretty much zoned out of the rest of the court case last night, I was reeling, in shock... not sure if I’ve got over that shock yet I’m still trying to sink it in.”

“We’ve always got the hope there but when we have seemingly got another breakthrough then we’re going to shout about that,” she said.

“We’ve got to get this job done, I’ve got to get my promise completed.”

She added: “Enough’s enough now, I want justice for my son, it’s time that she comes back, it’s time that she faces the UK justice system and gets this over and done with because it’s just ridiculous now.”

Harry Dunn was killed after a car crashed into his motorbike in August 2019
Harry Dunn was killed after a car crashed into his motorbike in August 2019. Picture: PA

The admission from Sacoolas's barrister John McGavin about her employment at the time of the crash has raised the question of the diplomatic immunity asserted on her behalf.

Under the agreements at RAF Croughton dating back to 1995, anyone working at the base from the US as part of the "administrative and technical staff" would have their immunity pre-waived, meaning they would not be immune from criminal jurisdiction.

Mr Dunn, 19, was killed after a car crashed into his motorbike outside the US military base in Northamptonshire in August 2019.

Sacoolas, 43, had diplomatic immunity asserted on her behalf by the US government and she was able to return home around three weeks later.

She was charged with causing the teenager's death by dangerous driving, but a Home Office extradition request was rejected by the US State Department in January last year.

A court in Virginia was told on Wednesday that Sacoolas and her husband Jonathan worked for the US State Department and "fled" the country due to "issues of security".

Mr McGavin told the court he could not "completely candidly" explain why they left, adding: "I know the answer, but I cannot disclose it."

The court heard one of the reasons Sacoolas had not returned to the UK was a "fear" that because of the "media attention, she would not have a fair trial".

Mr McGavin said the suspect was "currently apologetic" and has "accepted responsibility for the accident".

The Dunn family's barrister in the US, Agniezska Fryzsman, told the court the British government had written a letter to "endorse" the civil claim.

The case was adjourned until a further hearing on February 17.