Resolution reached between parents of Harry Dunn and his alleged killer

21 September 2021, 14:52 | Updated: 21 September 2021, 17:31

Harry Dunn was killed after a car crashed into his motorbike outside US military base RAF Croughton
Harry Dunn was killed after a car crashed into his motorbike outside US military base RAF Croughton. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

The parents of teenage motorcyclist Harry Dunn and their son's alleged killer have reached a "resolution" in a civil claim for damages filed in the US.

The Dunn family's spokesman Radd Seiger said an agreement had been "reached successfully between the parties and they can put this part of the campaign behind them".

US suspect Anne Sacoolas, who is charged with causing 19-year-old Harry's death by dangerous driving, was due to give evidence under oath last month as part of the damages claim until a last minute postponement.

Sacoolas, 44, was able to leave the UK following the fatal road crash outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on August 27, 2019, after diplomatic immunity was asserted on her behalf by the US Government.

The details of the agreement have not been disclosed, but Mr Seiger said a resolution in the civil claim means Harry's parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, will now turn their focus to the pending criminal case.

It comes as Foreign Secretary Liz Truss vowed to continue the fight to get Sacoolas to return to the UK to face "justice".

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

Read more: Harry Dunn suspect 'sorry' and 'would do community service' in US

The statement from Mr Seiger said the resolution has come as "some considerable relief".

He said the family continued to "suffer unimaginable pain and miss [Harry] each and every day".

"It is never easing mounting a legal battle for justice abroad, let alone in the USA, but the family's courage and determination to see this through has been incredible," added Mr Seiger.

"They have been supported throughout the claim by Dominic Raab and his excellent officials at the FCDO and we are very grateful to them for all their help."

The spokesperson added: "The family feel that they can now turn their attention to the criminal case and the long awaited inquest into Harry’s death which will follow the criminal case... Harry’s family will never be able to move on from his loss, but they are more determined than ever to continue to move forward.

"This is a pivot point in the campaign, a real milestone.

"But there is much work left to be done before Justice for Harry can be said to be done and we leave an important legacy behind for him that what happened to this family will never happen to another British family again at the hands of the US Government and that all stakeholders can learn lessons from this most tragic of deaths and a terrible low in the history of the relations between the US and UK."

Harry Dunn’s mother gives her views on Joe Biden's 'sympathy' to her son's case

Mrs Truss told reporters an agreement in the damages claim was "absolutely not" the end of the matter.

Speaking on the train to Washington where she will meet with Joe Biden, Mrs Truss was asked if the resolution of a civil case in the UK was the end of the road for the British effort for Sacoolas's return.

"Absolutely not. We continue to press for justice for Harry," she said.

"I've also spoken with Harry Dunn's mother and I've raised that issue with the US Secretary of State as well," she added.

The damages claim, brought against Sacoolas and her husband Jonathan, unearthed a great deal of previously unheard material, such as the State Department roles held by the couple at the time of the crash.

Alexandria District Court in the US state of Virginia heard the pair's work in intelligence was a "factor" in their departure from the UK, as they left for "security reasons".

Mr Seiger said in his statement that there needed to be a parliamentary inquiry into the scandal "in due course".

Lawyers acting on behalf of Sacoolas have been approached for comment.

Read more: Harry Dunn suspect could have been distracted by phone, lawyers claim

Harry Dunn was riding his motorcycle outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on August 27 2019 when he collided with a Volvo.

He was taken to the John Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford but died soon after arrival.

Ms Sacoolas was questioned by police the following day and less than a month later a request to waive her diplomatic immunity was formally rejected by the US.

She left the country two days later and was charged by the CPS for causing death by dangerous driving in December - but still extradition requests were rejected, something the UK Home Office called a "denial of justice".