Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Harry Dunn’s family just want the truth, says stepsister

The teenager was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car outside RAF Croughton in August.

Harry Dunn (Larna Harber/PA)
Harry Dunn (Larna Harber/PA)

By Richard Vernalls, PA

The stepsister of Harry Dunn who was killed in a motorbike crash involving a US diplomat’s wife has told how his loved ones “just want the truth”.

Larna Harber has repeated the family’s calls for 42-year-old Anne Sacoolas to return from the United States to the UK, to answer key questions about her stepbrother’s death.

Mrs Sacoolas is believed to have been driving on the wrong side of the road when she hit 19-year-old Mr Dunn’s motorbike outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on August 27.

Larna Harber and her husband Colin arrived in the United States on Monday, in a bid to keep the case in the public eye, and have spoken of the “incredible” support they have received since arriving.

Both administrations thought 'they're just some little family from Northamptonshire, this is all going to go away' Harry's brother-in-law

Mr Harber, Harry’s brother-in-law, told the PA news agency that he believed both the US and UK governments had treated the grieving relatives as “just some little family from Northamptonshire”, hoping they would “disappear”.

However, the couple, from Brackley, said the authorities’ response had only increased the family’s determination to “get justice”.

Mrs Harber described Harry as a “lovely chap” who would “always put a smile on your face”, with her husband calling him “a gentleman, at 19 years old”.

They have described how their tight-knit family had been left “devastated” by Harry’s death.

His loved ones still want answers from authorities on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as Northamptonshire Police, about the full circumstances surrounding the incident.

Harry’s family decided to refer the force to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) following a meeting with their lawyers last week.

The family’s spokesman has previously said they would be pursuing a “civil claim for damages” against the suspect, and to look at the “lawless misconduct” of US president Donald Trump’s administration over the incident.

The Harbers also dismissed an apparent attempt by President Trump to bring Harry’s parents to a surprise White House meeting with Mrs Sacoolas earlier this month as a “photo opportunity”, and “wrong”.

Mrs Harber said: “While our parents were there, President Trump said to Charlotte (Harry’s mother) they’d try and look for a different angle and we’ve heard nothing since.

bpanews_a074b2bf-7582-4655-a4d4-a9094dc2c8cd_embedded2989206
Colin and Larna Harber with Harry Dunn and his father, Tim Dunn. (Larna Harber/PA)

“It’s disappointing.

“They’re just not bothered.”

She added: “It was an tragic accident.

“But it has been made worse with the inability of our Government and police force in getting the answers to our questions.”

Describing the effect of the incident on Harry’s parents Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, Mrs Harber said they needed “time to reflect on what has happened”.

“It’s been a whirlwind and very hard for them,” she added.

Mr Harber said there was a sense of “cover-up”, and the family had still not received a satisfactory answer about when exactly Mrs Sacoolas’ diplomatic immunity status was confirmed.

“No-one really seems to want to give the correct answers,” said the 49-year-old.

“We don’t even know when she left the country, and that’s important information.”

Harry’s twin brother Niall has previously said Mrs Sacoolas’ diplomatic immunity had felt “like a punch in the face”.

Harry’s family want Mrs Sacoolas to return to the UK to answer key questions, not least about what happened as the teenager lay fatally injured.

“Harry lost his life in a tragic incident,” said Mrs Harber, 29.

“We need to know if Anne Sacoolas got out and comforted Harry.

“The thought of him being left on the grass verge on his own is devastating.

“We need her to give us those answers, so we can grieve.

“We just want the truth.”

Mr Harber said he also believed the authorities’ response to the incident had been impacted upon by sensitivities surrounding the fact Mrs Sacoolas was the wife of a US diplomat.

He said: “Both administrations thought ‘they’re just some little family from Northamptonshire, this is all going to go away and disappear’.

“But we’ve got fire in our bellies and promised Harry we would get justice – and we will.”

A GoFundMe page to raise money for the family’s legal costs has so far collected more than £70,000.

PA

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph