Foreign Secretary urges Harry Dunn death suspect to ‘come back and co-operate’
Dominic Raab spoke after meeting with Harry’s family
The Foreign Secretary has urged the woman allegedly responsible for the death of teenage motorcyclist Harry Dunn to “come back to the UK and co-operate with the criminal justice process”.
Dominic Raab’s words follow a meeting with the 19-year-old’s family, who said they had been given “hope” after a more “open and friendly” conversation on Tuesday.
Mr Raab urged 42-year-old US citizen Anne Sacoolas, who claimed diplomatic immunity after Harry’s death, to “do the right thing” if there is a charging decision by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
The teenager was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car driven by Mrs Sacoolas, the wife of a UK-based US diplomat, outside RAF Croughton on August 27.
The Foreign Secretary said: “We are united in our determination to get justice for Harry. The Government will do everything it can. I also reaffirmed my commitment to conclude the review of the arrangements at RAF Croughton by the end of the year to ensure they cannot be used in this way again.
“I appeal to Anne Sacoolas herself to do the right thing. If there is a charging decision from the Crown Prosecution Service, I urge her to come back to the United Kingdom and cooperate with the criminal justice process.”
Mr Raab’s meeting with Harry’s family came after Chief Constable Nick Adderley of Northamptonshire Police said he had sent a written apology to the teenager’s parents after a “breakdown” in communication.
The police chief had been referring to a tweet he had made back in October, where he used the words “sad but predictable” in response to the news that Harry’s parents had launched legal action in the US – prompting widespread criticism from the family.
Harry’s family sat down with Mr Adderley for “positive” clear-the-air talks after the originally calling for the police chief to resign.
Mr Adderley told reporters that any perceived fallout had been a “total misunderstanding” – adding that certain tweets and conversations had been “completely misconstrued”.
The teenager’s mother Charlotte Charles did not attend either meeting after being left “utterly devastated” by watching footage of Mrs Sacoolas reversing out of driveway in Virginia while in he US.
Harry’s father Tim Dunn said the family was “shocked” to see Mrs Sacoolas driving, while Mr Seiger commented on Mr Raab’s reaction to the footage of her “getting on with her life”.
“Like the rest of us, he just shook his head, none of us can understand it, because it’s inexplicable,” Mr Seiger said.
The family’s spokesman said the “warm” meeting with Mr Raab had covered a range of issues, with the two sides agreeing to “improve” communication.
He said: “One of the things that came across loud and clear for us which hadn’t come across before is that both Andrea Leadsom (Business Secretary and MP for Northamptonshire South) and the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab would like this lady to come back too, and that’s not something that we had heard.”
Mr Seiger added: “He shared with us that he needs to be very careful with his words and what he says, he doesn’t want to get hopes up.
“But he assured us that he’s doing absolutely everything he can to give this family the justice that they need and deserve.”
In November, Harry’s father travelled to Mr Raab’s constituency in Esher and Walton to confront him over his handling of the case.
Mr Dunn also urged the CPS to reach a decision on whether to charge Mrs Sacoolas to help give his family “closure … for grieving”.
A file of evidence was handed to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) on November 1 after Northamptonshire Police interviewed Mrs Sacoolas in the US.
Mr Dunn added: “These two meetings today have given us hope and I just plead now for the CPS to please hurry up and make this charge, and then we can move on.”