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Raab urges US Ambassador to ‘reconsider its position’ on immunity after teen death

Harry Dunn was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car thought to be on the wrong side of the road.

Charlotte Charles with her son Harry Dunn, who died after his motorbike collided with a car near RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on August 27 (Family handout/PA)
Charlotte Charles with her son Harry Dunn, who died after his motorbike collided with a car near RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on August 27 (Family handout/PA)

By Josh Payne, PA

The Foreign Secretary has met with the US Ambassador and urged the country to “reconsider its position” on the diplomatic immunity given to a suspect in the case of a teenager killed in a road crash.

Dominic Raab spoke with Woody Johnson on Tuesday to urge him to “do the right thing” by the family of 19-year-old Harry Dunn, who died after his motorbike crashed into a car on August 27.

The vehicle was thought to have been driving on the wrong side of the road after leaving RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire – a military base used by the US Air Force.

The suspect in the case, 42-year-old Anne Sacoolas, who is reportedly married to a US intelligence official, was granted diplomatic immunity after the crash, prompting calls from the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary and Northamptonshire Police for the US to consider waiving it.

The force’s chief constable Nick Adderley said US authorities had been appealed to in “the strongest terms” to apply a waiver and “allow the justice process to take place” after Mrs Sacoolas left the UK despite telling officers she did not plan to do so.

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Harry Dunn was killed in the crash (Family handout/PA)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also urged the US to reconsider its decision to give immunity to the diplomat’s wife, saying: “I do not think it can be right to use the process of diplomatic immunity for this type of purpose.”

Prior to the meeting with the US Ambassador, Mr Raab raised the case in a telephone call with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

After the meeting on Tuesday, a Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “The Foreign Secretary met the US Ambassador today and urged the US to reconsider its position and do the right thing by Harry Dunn’s family.”

A crowdfunding page set up for Harry’s family to begin their “campaign to search for justice” and to help Harry’s twin brother Niall has now reached its £10,000 target.

The GoFundMe page, which was set up just six days ago and is intended to help the family begin their “campaign to search for justice” and to help Harry’s twin brother Niall, has reached its target.

The description on the page, which has been named “Justice 4 Harry”, reads: “Harry’s loss has left an enormous hole in the lives of the family and they are understandably going through a shattering and life-changing time.

“This funding page is being set up to help the family and his twin brother Niall through these traumatic times and to build up a fund as the family embark on a campaign to search for justice for Harry as the legal process unfolds.

“We will update this page as frequently as we can. In the meantime, we would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for any amount of money you are able to donate, no matter how big or small.”

We've had many words of comfort but nothing is going to really help us... we can't start to grieve - it's been very very difficult Charlotte Charles, mother

Despite saying the family felt “supported” by people from around the world, Harry’s mother Charlotte Charles told BBC Breakfast it has still been a very difficult process.

She said: “We feel very, very supported and we are extremely grateful.

“We’ve had many words of comfort but nothing is going to really help us…  we can’t start to grieve – it’s been very, very difficult.”

Asked if she had had any contact from Mrs Sacoolas after the crash, Ms Charles said: “Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

“I think that’s one of the hardest things we’re having to deal with is because we have got a name and we have got a face and still nothing – it just seems inhumane.

“It just doesn’t feel right. As a mother myself and many other people who have come forward and fought for us – all the way around the world now – it’s just really distressing not to have any word from her being a mum herself.

“I can’t get my head around that, it doesn’t sit well with me.”

The Foreign Office declined to comment on claims while the US embassy have not been available to provide a comment.

PA

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