MP suggests 'virtual trial' for alleged killer of Harry Dunn

Anne Sacoolas was charged with causing death by dangerous driving

The Home Secretary has been asked to consider a "virtual trial" for Northamptonshire teenager Harry Dunn's alleged killer.

Anne Sacoolas was charged with causing death by dangerous driving after a crash in August last year which resulted in the 19-year-old's death.

The 42-year-old claimed diplomatic immunity following the collision outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire and was able to return to her home country, sparking an international controversy.

In a letter to Priti Patel on Monday, the Dunn family's constituency MP Andrea Leadsom described a virtual trial as a "way to achieve closure... without undermining the US decision not to accept the extradition request".

Mrs Leadsom also wrote to the Solicitor General, the Foreign Secretary, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Lord Chancellor to put forward the idea of a virtual trial or a trial in Sacoolas's absence.

Local MP Andrea Leadsom has suggested the idea Credit: PA Images

The family's spokesman Radd Seiger said the family "would not object" if a decision was taken to conduct a remote trial.

In the letter, Mrs Leadsom said: "You may be aware that the anniversary of Harry's death falls on August 27 and this is obviously an extremely difficult time for the family.

"They are very anxious to obtain closure on these terrible events before that date and seek urgent comments on the possibility of the trial of Anne Sacoolas virtually or in her absence.

Mr Dunn's family said their "final goodbye" to their son last month as they scattered his ashes in his favourite place - Portland Bill, near Weymouth in Dorset.

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom (left), Harry Dunn's mother Charlotte Charles (centre right) and his stepfather Bruce Charles in January Credit: Jacob King/PA Archive/PA Images

Reacting to the letters, Mr Dunn's mother Charlotte Charles said: "How justice is administered is not a matter for me as a victim of this very serious crime.

"However, I'm very grateful to Andrea Leadsom for working hard on our behalf to ensure that justice is done for Harry. I can see that she has written to the authorities suggesting that Anne Sacoolas is tried remotely from the US and we're grateful for her looking at ways in which justice can be achieved."

An extradition request submitted by the Home Office for Sacoolas was rejected by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in January.

The US State Department later described the decision as "final", despite the loophole which allowed Sacoolas to claim diplomatic immunity being closed by both countries last month.

Giving his thoughts on the possibility of a remote trial, Mr Seiger said "Anne Sacoolas must face the British justice system like any of us would have to and that is what will happen.

Harry Dunn

"It is obviously up to the authorities how that takes place. The suggestion of a remote trial is a novel one and as far as I am aware would be totally unprecedented in our legal system. Anne Sacoolas must go through the English legal system. That has always been our case."

A spokeswoman for the Attorney General's Office confirmed a letter had been received but declined to comment further.