Harry Dunn death: Family to launch legal action against Foreign Office

Harry Cockburn
Reuters

The family of a teenager killed in a road crash involving a US diplomat’s wife say they are taking legal action against the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) over the way the incident has been handled.

Anne Sacoolas, who was driving when 19-year-old Harry Dunn was killed on his motorcycle outside RAF Croughton, subsequently left the UK claiming diplomatic immunity.

It later emerged the FCO had asked Northamptonshire Police to delay telling the grieving family Ms Sacoolas had left the country.

Spokesperson for the Dunn family, Radd Seiger, told Sky News: “The first action we will be taking is against the FCO.

“We will be shortly issuing a letter of claim which is a prelude to a judicial review,” he said.

According to Sky News, the family is appointing a strong legal team to seek the judicial review into the way the case has been handled.

Human rights barrister Geoffrey Robertson, who has defended both the boxer Mike Tyson and former Brazilian president Lula da Silva, will reportedly be on the team.

Ms Sacoolas is accused of crashing into the teenager who was riding his motorbike, while she was driving on the wrong side of the road near the military base on 27 August.

Northamptonshire Police will also face legal action from the Dunn family following the force’s decision to travel to the US in order to interview Ms Sacoolas.

Mr Seiger said: “It’s absolutely clear that Ms Sacoolas was involved in a very serious collision that ended in the loss of Harry’s life.

“We are clear she’s admitted her culpability, that she... committed a very serious crime that night.

“At the very least careless, causing death by careless driving and at the worst causing death by dangerous driving. She is a fugitive from this country and she is on the run.

“We appeal to her to come back to this country and face the music.”

Harry Dunn, 19, was killed in a crash outside RAF Croughton with a car owned by US citizen Anne Sacoolas (Justice4Harry)

The legal action comes after police warned Mr Seiger over his remarks about the circumstances of the teenager’s death.

On Tuesday the chief constable of Northamptonshire Police Nick Adderley urged Radd Seiger to “exercise constraint” [sic] in his public statements after he attacked the force’s handling of the investigation as “unacceptable and unforgivable”.

He also said Ms Sacoolas would be interviewed under caution in the US and that officers from Northamptonshire Police are waiting for the necessary visas.

Mr Adderley had previously said Northamptonshire Police had at all times “acted with the utmost integrity and transparency”.

The family’s decision to take legal action against the Foreign Office and the police comes less than a week after they voiced their concern about “misconduct and a cover-up on both sides of the Atlantic” by the British and US governments.

A Foreign Office spokesperson said of the legal action: “We have done everything we can properly to clear a path so that justice can be done for Harry’s family. As the Foreign Secretary set out in Parliament, the individual involved had diplomatic immunity whilst in the country under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. We will respond to any legal action in due course.”