Harry Dunn’s parents weep in court as they hear US spy’s wife Anne Sacoolas admit killing the motorcyclist by careless driving

20 October 2022, 14:23 | Updated: 20 October 2022, 16:18

Harry Dunn was killed after a car crashed into his motorbike on August 27, 2019
Harry Dunn was killed after a car crashed into his motorbike on August 27, 2019. Picture: Alamy

By Stephen Rigley

Harry Dunn’s parents wept in court as they heard former US spy Anne Sacoolas admit causing their son's death in 2019.

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She pleaded guilty to causing the death of Harry Dunn by careless driving, following a three-year campaign for justice by the teenager's family.

The American was appearing at the Old Bailey in London and entered the plea via video-link from Washington.

Sacoolas, 45, pleaded guilty to causing the 19-year-old motorcyclist's death by careless driving in August 2019.

The teenager's parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, held their heads in their hands as the US citizen made her plea.

Sacoolas had diplomatic immunity asserted on her behalf by the US government following the crash near RAF Croughton, in Northamptonshire and was able to leave the UK 19 days after the incident.

In December 2019, the Crown Prosecution Service authorised Northamptonshire Police to charge her with causing Mr Dunn's death by dangerous driving.

On Thursday, she denied that charge but admitted the lesser offence when she appeared in Court One of the Old Bailey by video link.

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Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson KC said the plea was accepted by the Crown.

The defendant, who is on unconditional bail, had identified herself before entering her pleas before senior judge Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb.

Mr Dunn's family, who had long campaigned for his killer to face justice, were sitting in court.

Both Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn held their heads in their hands as Sacoolas pleaded guilty.

Telling the court the Crown accepted the plea of causing death by careless driving, Mr Atkinson said: "The Crown recognises putting at risk a vulnerable road user is capable of amounting to dangerous driving.

"The prosecution has taken into account... the mitigation available to this defendant and the balance of justice.

"It has been considered at the very highest level.

"The Crown considers the plea of causing death by careless driving is one that is acceptable."

Mr Atkinson said the Crown would not be proceeding to trial on the causing death by dangerous driving charge.

The guilty plea was watched by around 20 members of Harry Dunn's family.

Harry's mother Charlotte said: "Getting to court and getting to where we are now has been the most monumental thing for me because I can talk to [Harry] now and tell him we've done it, promise complete.

"I feel I can breathe easier. I don't have that guilt on my shoulders of not having done it yet."

His father Tim said: "Hopefully we've given hope to other families that they can do the same as us and get justice and believe and fight because it will happen in the end, it will happen."

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