Harry Dunn death: Family left ‘angry and frustrated’ after ‘publicity stunt’ meeting with foreign secretary

Samuel Osborne
Tim Dunn and Charlotte Charles, parents of Harry Dunn, leave the Foreign and Commonwealth office in London: Toby Melville/REUTERS

The family of a teenager killed in a car crash involving a US diplomat’s wife have said they have been left “angry and frustrated” after meeting with Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, which they described as a “publicity stunt”.

Harry Dunn, 19, was killed when his motorbike collided with a car in Northamptonshire on 27 August.

The suspect in the case, 42-year-old Anne Sacoolas, was granted diplomatic immunity following the crash and fled the UK.

The car 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.

Mr Raab met Harry’s mother, Charlotte Charles, and father, Tim Dunn, on Wednesday afternoon after having talks with the US ambassador, Woody Johnson, on Tuesday.

Giving a statement on behalf of the family, spokesman Radd Seiger said: “To say we are disappointed with the outcome would be an understatement.

“We are frustrated. We are angry.”

Speaking to reporters outside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office following the meeting with Mr Raab, Mr Seiger added: “We are extremely grateful for the opportunity and that we’ve had that time with him.”

“We need some time to gather our thoughts and compose ourselves. We just need about an hour or so to gather our thoughts,” he said.

Speaking to Sky News, Ms Charles said she felt “let down by both government”.

“I can’t really see the point we were invited to see Dominic Raab, we are no further forward than where we were this time last week,” she said.

“Part of me is feeling like it was just a publicity stunt on the UK Government side to show they are trying to help.

“But, although he is engaging with us, we have no answers. We are really frustrated that we could spend half an hour or more with him and just come out with nothing.”

The lawyer for Mr Dunn’s family said they are engaging lawyers to take a civil case against Ms Sacoolas in the US.

“Our position is that she doesn’t have immunity and that waivers are always granted in these circumstances,” Radd Seiger told reporters in Westminster on Wednesday.

“Now we can disclose to you we have brought lawyers on board ... We are going to Washington soon to help us get that justice for Harry.”

Boris Johnson, the prime minister, Mr Raab and Northamptonshire Police have asked the US to consider waiving the immunity.

It has since emerged that Mrs Sacoolas was previously handed a fine for “failure to pay full time and attention” while driving in the state of Virginia in 2006.

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

After Tuesday’s meeting, a Foreign Office spokesperson 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.”

Northamptonshire Police 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 Ms Sacoolas left the UK despite telling officers she did not plan to do so.

Read more

Parents of Harry Dunn say they will chase US woman ‘to Washington’

UK urges US to waive diplomatic immunity for Harry Dunn suspect

US diplomat’s wife suspected of involvement in deadly crash leaves UK