Harry Dunn’s mother hopes Biden takes different view on case given personal ties

·3-min read

The mother of teenage motorcyclist Harry Dunn has said she hopes the US president will take a “different view” on her son’s case given his “deeply personal connection”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Joe Biden is “actively engaged” and “extremely sympathetic” with the case following his face-to-face meeting with the President in Cornwall on Thursday.

The leaders of the US and UK discussed the 19-year-old, who was killed when a car crashed into his motorbike outside a military base in Northamptonshire, ahead of the G7 summit of world leaders.

The teenager’s mother, Charlotte Charles, told the PA news agency she was “incredibly grateful” the case is high on the agenda but added that her family needed a resolution as soon as possible as they are “suffering intensely”.

Mrs Charles referred to Mr Biden’s personal connection to the case, after he lost his wife and daughter in a road crash in 1972 – while his sons Beau and Hunter survived.

Mr Dunn’s death, in August 2019, sparked an international controversy after Anne Sacoolas had diplomatic immunity asserted on her behalf – allowing her to leave the UK nine days after the crash.

She has since been charged with causing Mr Dunn’s death by dangerous driving.

Harry Dunn death
Harry Dunn (Family/PA)

Speaking after the meeting of Mr Biden and the PM, Charlotte Charles told PA: “We are incredibly grateful that Harry’s case is being taken so seriously as to be raised on the eve of the G7 meeting with so many worldwide crises going on.

“We very much hope that President Biden takes a different view to the previous administration given his deeply personal connection to the case having suffered loss in similar circumstances.”

“We are all suffering intensely as a family and really need a resolution as soon as possible and now await to hear from the CPS as to what steps they plan to take next.

“We have been working incredibly hard behind the scenes having dialogue with as many people on both sides of the Atlantic as possible and believe that these efforts will help us in our search for justice.

“It is almost two years since we lost Harry in August 2019 and it would be lovely to think that all parties can now come together to help bring this living nightmare to an end so that we can try to rebuild our shattered lives.”

Mr Johnson was asked if there had been any progress made on the case following his discussion with his American counterpart and said he understood there were “limits” to what Mr Biden could do.

Speaking to the BBC, the Prime Minister said: “You should really – when you get the chance – put your question to the president because he is actively engaged in the case.

“As you know, he has his own personal reasons for feeling very deeply about the issue.

“And he was extremely sympathetic, but this is not something that either government can control very easily because there are legal processes that are still going on.

G7 Summit
The PM and President Biden met in Cornwall on Thursday (Toby Melville/PA)

“But he did express a great deal of sympathy, as indeed this government continues to do for the family of Harry Dunn.”

He added both the US executive and legal and judiciary system were “working together”.

The Dunn family said they were pleased to see the case raised at the “first available opportunity”.

The Dunn family have challenged the diplomatic immunity asserted on Sacoolas’ behalf, which will be heard in the Court of Appeal next year.

Mr Dunn’s parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, have also brought a civil claim against the suspect and her husband in the US state of Virginia.