Harry Dunn's mother brands son's killer Anne Sacoolas a 'huge coward'

Harry Dunn's mother, Charlotte Charles, outside the Old Bailey.
Harry Dunn's mother, Charlotte Charles, outside the Old Bailey. Credit: PA

The mother of teenage motorcyclist Harry Dunn labelled her son's killer a "huge coward" after she failed to attend her sentencing hearing in person.

During virtual proceedings at the Old Bailey on Thursday, American citizen Anne Sacoolas, 45, was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for a year, for causing the death of 19-year-old Harry Dunn outside the RAF Croughton US Air Force base in Northamptonshire on 27 August 2019.

Sacoolas, the wife of a US diplomat, fled the country after the crash in which she was driving on the wrong side of the road.

In October, she pleaded guilty to causing Mr Dunn’s death by careless driving, but was then advised by the US government not to attend Thursday's hearing in London.

Speaking to reporters outside the Old Bailey following Sacoolas' sentencing, Mr Dunn's mother, Charlotte Charles, said that it was "despicable" that Sacoolas hadn't turned up.

  • Harry Dunn's mother, Charlotte Charles, tells reporters that Anne Sacoolas is a "huge coward"

"She should have been there," she said.

"I think it's despicable that she didn't come over on the judge's orders. She's a huge coward."

When asked to give her reflections on the sentencing, Mrs Charles told reporters: "Job done, promise complete. Properly, properly complete now.

"Anne Sacoolas has a criminal record for the rest of her life that was something that she never thought she'd see, or the US government. We worked tirelessly and relentlessly to make sure she had to do what you and I would have done."

  • The Dunn's family spokesman, Radd Seiger, calls the US government "the real enemy"

In a passionate speech outside court, the Dunn's family spokesman, Radd Seiger, said that Sacoolas was not the "real enemy" in the case, and any anger should be directed at the US government instead.

"The real enemy here is not Mrs Sacoolas. We know she made a mistake that night and I dare say that all of us have made mistakes," he told reporters.

"Our real enemy is the US government, who after Harry's death, instead of doing the right thing for this family, decided to kick them in the stomach for three years."

Following the sentencing, Northamptonshire Police praised Mr Dunn's family for "shining a light" on the case in their quest for justice.

"They (the family) have spent more than three years shining a light on this case in their quest for justice for him. While their tragic loss will always be felt, we hope they now feel justice has been delivered and they can begin to move forward with their lives.

"Through the determined efforts of colleagues in our serious collision investigation unit, we were eventually able to bring a case file to our partners in the Crown Prosecution Service and, thanks to their diligence over a prolonged period of time, this ultimately led to the charging and later admission of guilt by Anne Sacoolas."

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