Harry Dunn's mother appeals to PM to make son 'top priority'

19 July 2020, 11:02

Harry Dunn’s mother makes emotional appeal to PM to make son ‘top priority’

By Megan White

The mother of teenage motorcyclist Harry Dunn has made an emotional appeal for the Prime Minister to make her son "top priority" during the US Secretary of State's visit next week.

Charlotte Charles urged Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and Mike Pompeo to discuss the case of her son nearly one year on from his death during Mr Pompeo's visit to London on Monday.

She said the anniversary of her 19-year-old son's death next month will be "beyond painful", and said she would not wish her anguish on her worst enemy.

Mr Dunn was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car outside a US military base in Northamptonshire on August 27 last year.

In a video statement, she said: "Mr Raab, Mr Pompeo, Mr Johnson, when you get together next week with all of your families fully intact whilst mine is in complete tatters and my family has been ripped apart, can you please, please discuss Harry?

Harry Dunn was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car outside a US military base in Northamptonshire on August 27 last year
Harry Dunn was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car outside a US military base in Northamptonshire on August 27 last year. Picture: PA

"We've been assured he's high on your list of priorities to discuss amongst all of the other important global issues that you have surrounding you but please, please make him top priority."

Anne Sacoolas, 43, the wife of a US intelligence official and a reported CIA operative, claimed diplomatic immunity following the crash and was able to return to her home country, sparking an international controversy.

An extradition request submitted by the Home Office for her was rejected by Mr Pompeo in January - a decision the State Department has said is "final".

Ms Charles added: "It's been nearly a year, please don't let this roll into a second year.

"We've got his anniversary coming up which is going to be beyond painful for us.

"We don't want a repeat of the last 11 months. It has been horrific. You wouldn't wish it on your worst enemy. I don't want to relive any of it ever again.

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"It's just about doing the right thing. It always has been, it always will be.

"We've always agreed immunity does need to be in place for certain circumstances. This isn't one of them.

"Bring Anne Sacoolas back to the UK, face the justice system."

On Sunday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said that Anne Sacoolas should return to the UK so that "justice can be done".

He said: "We're on the family's side, we've made that clear all along.

"There's a denial of justice here, there is an extradition request that is outstanding and we have called on Anne Sacoolas to return and our American partners to facilitate that, we've done that consistently throughout.

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"There's no measures that I think we could credibly, realistically take which is somehow going to force the US or indeed Anne Sacoolas to comply with this.

"But I want to be realistic because I don't want to raise expectations that are going to be dashed but we have at every level raised this.

"I've raised it, we've raised it in Washington, the Prime Minister has raised it with President Trump and we will continue to make clear we're on the side of the family here, we think that she should return, she must return home, so that justice can be done."

Dunn family spokesman Radd Seiger said: "What we want now, and I've asked this of Mr Raab several times, is a very clear timetabled structured plan to bring Anne Sacoolas back.

"It is no longer any good ... that they raise it continually. That means nothing to the family.

"She needs to come back. Actions have consequences. This is one of the most egregious abuses of human rights America has ever committed on a British citizen, a British family. Where is the special relationship?

"We need a clear specific plan. If the US are not going to send her back what is the UK going to do with specificity to make sure this terrible wrong is righted?

"This is the United Kingdom's opportunity, Mr Raab's opportunity, to show the nation that he is going to fulfil his first duty, which is to safeguard and protect the lives of UK citizens. He needs to stand up to the US now."