UK and US agree to 'amend anomaly' that allowed Harry Dunn's alleged killer to claim immunity

Video report by ITV News Correspondent Neil Connery

The UK and US have agreed to amend the “anomaly” that allowed Harry Dunn’s alleged killer Anne Sacoolas to claim diplomatic immunity, the Foreign Secretary has said in a written statement.

Despite the “anomaly” being amended in the immunity agreements surrounding RAF Croughton - the base near where Harry Dunn died in a road collision - Ms Sacoolas still remains in the US.

Charlotte Charles told ITV News it means she can go into Harry's anniversary with a "slight smile", knowing it "cannot happen to another family again."

"We know Harry would be really proud, the fact we've looked after and safeguarded the community around us and the countryside he so loved," she said.

But Ms Charles added the "number one" aim of getting Ms Sacoolas back to the UK has not been achieved and they "have a long way to go", but they have now have "renewed energy" to continue the campaign.

"If anything it gives us more momentum, because we have achieved one of the largest goals of our campaign, so it does give you renewed energy and it does give you renewed hope that we can continue to do as much hard work as we have already done," she said.

The family spokesperson Radd Seiger told ITV News: "This is only a step only the way,the second limb of our campaign is now ticked...this will never happen again to another family and we owe that to Tim and Charlotte."

Although Mr Seiger added their campaign will not stop until Ms Sacoolas is back in the UK.

In his written statement, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “First and foremost, the US waiver of immunity from criminal jurisdiction is now expressly extended to the family members of US staff at the Croughton Annex, thus ending the anomaly in the previous arrangements and permitting the criminal prosecution of the family members of those staff, should these tragic circumstances ever arise again.

Neil Connery explains the significance of the decision

“We have the deepest sympathy for Harry Dunn’s family. No family should have to experience what they have gone through and I recognise that these changes will not bring Harry back. “However, I hope that the knowledge that the Croughton arrangements have been revised and that a family in their position would now see justice done brings some small measure of comfort.”

Charlotte Charles speaking ahead of Wednesday's announcement and before US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited the UK:

Giving his thoughts on the announcement surrounding the immunity agreements at RAF Croughton, Mr Raab added: “It’s important that we have now agreed with the US new arrangements that have closed the anomaly that led to the denial of justice in the heart-breaking case of Harry Dunn.

“The new arrangements mean it could not happen again,” he said.

“I know these changes won’t bring Harry back, and I appreciate the pain and suffering the family are still going through.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab following a meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Credit: Peter Summers/PA

“But I hope this may bring some small measure of comfort to them, because I know they want to prevent any other family going through the same ordeal they have.”

In a statement released after the announcement Northamptonshire Police said it welcomed the changes: "While we understand these changes will not be retrospective, Northamptonshire Police welcomes these changes.

"Northamptonshire Police remains committed to working with colleagues in the Crown Prosecution Service to ensure Anne Sacoolas is returned from the US to allow criminal proceedings to go ahead here in the UK."

Mike Pompeo arrives in London to meet backbench MPs Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA

The US State Department said the amendment of the diplomatic immunity arrangements at RAF Croughton “is a reflection of our especially close relationship” with the UK.

A spokesman said: “Under the arrangement, the United States has extended pre-emptive, limited waivers of certain diplomatic immunities pertaining to the staff of the Embassy office in Croughton and their family members for acts performed outside the course of official duties that occur on or after July 20, 2020.

“This arrangement is a reflection of our especially close relationship with the government of the United Kingdom.”