Parents of Harry Dunn want Anne Sacoolas in UK to hear sentence for death by careless driving

The parents of Harry Dunn have said Anne Sacoolas should return to the UK for sentencing after her careless driving killed their son.

US citizen Sacoolas, whose husband is a US intelligence official, was driving on the wrong side of the road when she crashed into Mr Dunn’s motorbike near US airbase RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire in August 2019.

Sacoolas, 42, claimed diplomatic immunity and was able to return to her home in Virginia 19 days after the crash. The case led to a dispute between the UK and US in which an extradition request was turned down.

Sacoolas was eventually brought to justice when she pleaded guilty to death by careless driving via video link at the Old Bailey in October.

She is due to be sentenced later this month, with his parents Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn feeling she needs to be in the UK to hear her fate.

Asked whether they think she will attend in person, Mr Dunn said: "I'm undecided, I hope for her and for us that she does come. I hope for her and her children she can come and draw a line under this."

Harry Dunn died after being hit by a car being driven by  Anne Sacoolas (PA Media)
Harry Dunn died after being hit by a car being driven by Anne Sacoolas (PA Media)

Appearing on ITV’s This Morning on Wednesday, Ms Charles described living through “a Pandora’s Box of hell”.

“We just hope we can get back to some sort of true happy,” she said.

“I promised I’d get him justice… so three years on, to hear that guilty plea, it’s almost indescribable.

“The release of tension you don’t even realise you’re holding on to. Your shoulders come down. The many many silent tears that fell down every one of our faces you didn’t even expect to come because you don’t even dream that moment is going to happen. It was amazing.”

The Dunns struggle for justice saw the couple visited the US to meet legal representatives and even visit the White House where they were given a personal reception with then president Donald Trump.

It was said that Sacoolas was also inside the White House although the parents rejected the chance to meet at that point as it was considered “too soon”.

The Crown Prosecution Service announced in December 2019 the intention to charge Sacoolas with death by dangerous driving although extradition process procedures had stalled.

Aafter further proceedings, she appeared via video link at Westminster Magistrates Court in December 2021 and the Old Bailey heard her guilty plea of the charge of causing death by careless driving on October 20.

Mrs Dunn said: “When we got that guilty plea, for me it was able to look up and say, ‘Harry, we’ve done it’. My promise is complete. We can do Christmas this year now. We can have a real tree. We can put the presents back under it.

“The last three Christmases we’ve just pushed it aside and pretend it’s not happening, and it’s just been another painful day that you have to get through like every other day.

“I think this year we are going to be able to smile - we are going to do Christmas.”

Mr Dunn shared that he speaks to a picture of Harry, wishing him “Good morning, my boy” each day. He explained of his greeting: “It sort of keeps me going. It’s me not letting go in a way, he’s always in my life. I think I dread the time that will sort of fade. I don’t want that to fade.”