Harry Dunn's mum says she can 'still feel his hugs' 18 months on from his death

27 February 2021, 09:30 | Updated: 27 February 2021, 09:36

Harry Dunn's mum says she can "still feel his hugs" 18 months on from his death

By Lindsey Alder

Harry Dunn's mum has told LBC she can "still feel his hugs", 18 months after the crash which killed him.

Charlotte Charles has been fighting to find out the truth of what happened to 19-year-old Harry, who died after being knocked off his motorbike and killed near American airbase RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on 27th August 2019.

The suspect in that crash, Anne Sacoolas, remains in the United States claiming diplomatic immunity - despite his family campaigning for her to face the charges of causing his death by dangerous driving.

Read more: Harry Dunn's family can bring civil damages claim against Anne Sacoolas, US court rules

There continue to be calls for her to be brought to court but the US government are still refusing to extradite her.

Harry's family have now brought a civil claim for damages against Mrs Sacoolas in her home state of Virginia.

Charlotte told LBC she still lies awake at night thinking about his final moments: "All you can see is Harry face down in the hedge, he wants to move but he can't move because he's got so many broken bones. He's fully conscious, he knew all of that.

The pain of losing Harry has been hard on the whole of the family
The pain of losing Harry has been hard on the whole of the family. Picture: LBC
Harry Dunn was just 19 when he was knocked off his motorbike and died
Harry Dunn was just 19 when he was knocked off his motorbike and died. Picture: PA

"And because we haven't had our inquest, you can help as a parent to try and build that jigsaw and it's the most furiously frustrating thing to live with day in and day out.

"So maybe, just maybe, the civil claim will give me some of those answers about the last couple of hours of his life and help us rest a little easier.

"I can still feel his hugs, hear his voice, see his smile and I can still smell him. We're still a bit stuck in 2019 if I'm totally honest".

Read more: Dominic Raab urged to 'explain himself' over Harry Dunn suspect 'intelligence work'

Charlotte added the family were thankful they went with their instinct to demand answers about what happened to Harry: "You just thank your gut instinct that we've had right from the beginning, that was so terribly strong, that there were so many things wrong with what was going on,"she said.

"Something stunk really bad...right from the off and that's another reason why we are absolutely and utterly correct to run this campaign and do what we're doing".

The next court hearing in the civil case is Wednesday 3rd March in Virginia.

Harry's family embrace as they scatter his ashes
Harry's family embrace as they scatter his ashes. Picture: PA

On February 4, the family listened to Sacoolas's legal team submit the application to dismiss the case, in which the Alexandria district court was told Sacoolas and her husband Jonathan Sacoolas worked for the US State Department at the time of the crash.

Her barrister, John McGavin, told the court he could not "completely candidly" explain why the Sacoolas family left the UK, adding: "I know the answer, but I cannot disclose it."

But Judge Thomas Ellis dismissed Sacoolas's submissions that the UK was a "more convenient" forum, keeping the case in Virginia - describing the motion as "not warranted".

The claim that she has diplomatic immunity from prosecution rests on the fact she was a partner of an employee at RAF Croughton, not working there herself.

Questions are now being asked about whether that protection still stands after the in-court revelation that she was employed by a US intelligence agency at the time.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “The UK High Court has found that Anne Sacoolas had diplomatic immunity while in the country under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.