Anne Sacoolas open to 'mediation' with Harry Dunn's family

·2-min read

Anne Sacoolas is open to "mediation" to find a way forward with the parents of Harry Dunn.

It comes following a US judge's ruling yesterday that a civil case brought by Mr Dunn's family against Mrs Sacoolas, 43, could go ahead.

The 19-year-old died after a car hit the motorbike he was riding outside of a US military base in Northamptonshire in August 2019.

Mrs Sacoolas was charged with causing death by dangerous driving and has since admitted she was driving on the wrong side of the road for 20 seconds before the collision.

However, the US State Department asserted diplomatic immunity on behalf of Mrs Sacoolas and she then left the UK.

Following the ruling by Judge Thomas Ellis, Mrs Sacoolas' lawyers released a statement.

It said: "As Anne has said repeatedly, she is devastated by this tragic accident and would do anything she could to bring Harry back.

"She has continuously expressed her deepest condolences to the family, and would very much like to find a path forward and to bring the family a measure of peace and closure.

"Anne and her personal attorney, Amy Jeffress, remain willing to discuss options, including mediation, to find a path forward towards a resolution."

The Dunn family's spokesman, Radd Seiger, responded: "We are very pleased to see the strong indication from Mrs Sacoolas and her personal attorney this afternoon that they are willing to discuss options with a view to finding a path forward.

"I would urge Mrs Jeffress and the Crown Prosecution Service to engage with each other as urgently as possible and the parents and I are more than happy to engage in those discussions if appropriate.

"We are sure that, once a satisfactory resolution is found, both families will be able to begin the path towards recovery."

In the statement made by her lawyers, it was said that Mrs Sacoolas' immunity was not impacted by the civil court ruling.

It added: "Anne Sacoolas' employment status has never been relevant to her diplomatic immunity, which was based on her husband's status as an accredited diplomat."

In his ruling on Tuesday, Judge Ellis said: "While it is commendable that defendant Anne Sacoolas admits that she was negligent and that her negligence caused Harry Dunn's death, this does not equate acceptance of responsibility.

"Full acceptance of responsibility entails facing those harmed by her negligence and taking responsibility for her acts where they occurred, in the United Kingdom."