The parents of Harry Dunn have accused the British government of abandoning them during their visit to the United States, saying they believe the Foreign Office “just want us to go away and forget about it all”.
Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn will leave the US on Friday, at the end of a whirlwind five-day trip pleading with the US authorities to send their son’s killer back to Britain to face justice.
The pair told The Telegraph they have been dismayed by the lack of support from the British government.
“We don’t understand why,” said Mr Dunn. “Harry has died in an accident, and we feel that nobody but us wants to get justice for him.”
Mrs Charles said it was remarkable that they were invited by Donald Trump to the White House, on Tuesday evening, and yet were not offered support by their own embassy or consulate.
“They just want us to go away,” she said. “And forget about it all. They really do.”
Her husband, Bruce Charles, added: “It doesn’t make any sense. Why haven’t they come back with any information for us? Are they trying to figure out how to relay the information? Or are they covering up?"
Harry Dunn, 19, died when an American woman, Anne Sacoolas, crashed her car into his motorbike while she was driving on the wrong side of the road.
After Mr Dunn’s death the US authorities spirited her away from the UK, forcing the Dunn family to travel to the US and beg Mr Trump to return her to Britain.
Mrs Sacoolas’s husband Jonathan was initially described as a diplomat, but is now believed to be a spy.
“We’re led to believe he’s a spy, from the media reports,” said Mrs Charles. “That’s all we know. Dominic Raab mentioned it.”
Mr Charles added: “He said he was senior.”
His wife continued: “I can’t remember exactly how he explained it, but he said he was brought in to control that area. Or sector. He just used a lot of different words to skirt the issue.”
Asked whether they had asked the Foreign Office for clarification as to his status, Mr Dunn laughed.
“I don’t think we’re their favourite people,” he said.
Mr and Mrs Charles, plus Mr Dunn and his wife Tracey, found themselves in the “surreal” surroundings of the Oval Office, with only their spokesman Radd Seiger – a friend from their village in Northamptonshire - for help.
Asked whether they were surprised to have no British diplomat accompanying them, Mr Dunn replied: “Maybe it might have helped. But they haven’t really spoken to us so we don’t know how they feel about the whole situation.”
They were ushered in to the Oval Office, and confronted by Robert O’Brien, Mr Trump’s national security adviser, who immediately stated: “She will never return to the UK.”
Mr Dunn said: “He was really unpleasant, and trying to be intimidating. Trump wasn’t at all. And actually when he said that, Trump put his hand up to stop him. Until Charlotte took over it was on Trump's terms.”
Mrs Charles, they all agreed, then commanded the situation.
“She went on at him for about five minutes,” said Mr Charles.
Mrs Charles explained: “He didn’t interrupt me once. That’s why we said he was gracious and welcoming. I didn’t raise my voice. I just spoke to him like I am now.”
“He never took his eyes off you, did he?” Mr Charles said.
“He was well behaved, in that sense,” she added. “It was just the concoction of this plan, which is disgusting.”
“Getting a call to go to the White House is quite daunting,” said Mr Dunn. “We got there and had no idea who we were meeting.”
The family were just told it would be “a senior official”.
“We had no idea,” continued Mrs Charles. “We speculated as a family, on the three hour train journey from New York to Washington, about how it could unfold. What about this, what about that. I think that’s why we could be so strong, because we did discuss the fact that maybe he would bring her to the White House. We thought through even the most bizarre scenarios.
“We never thought we would be in that situation. But knowing his reputation, we couldn’t rule it out.”
Mrs Charles said their decision not to meet her was easy.
“It was always going to be on our terms,” she said.
“We said all along we are happy to meet with her, but it needs to be on UK soil, with proper professionals around to help us all. Her, her family, not just us. Everyone is going to need help to get us there. We need preparing for that, she needs preparing for that.
“I imagine she was a little bit shocked to be invited to the White House, or dragged to the White House. We were told she wasn’t aware of the meeting either.
“That’s not right for her either. It’s not fair.”
The four are philosophical when asked whether they expect Mrs Sacoolas to be returned to the UK to face justice. The case has now been referred to the CPS, and so they say it is in the hands of the lawyers and the police.
They urgently want to know why the Foreign Office asked the US for her immunity to be waived, and then concluded that she did not have diplomatic immunity – after she had fled.
“They obviously know what happened, when she left,” said Mr Dunn. “They need to ‘fess up, if they have made a mistake. Or done it underhand. But if it’s straightforward, why has it taken so long?”
Asked if they felt that Britain’s desire to secure a trade deal with the US, post Brexit, had made the Foreign Office tread on eggshells around Washington, Mr Dunn laughed.
“It’s a bit late for that now!” he said. “The president is saying that Boris wanted us to meet Anne Sacoolas in the White House. And Boris is not backing him up. I think that might have scuppered it all anyway!
“To me there is something not right, that it’s taken so long for the Foreign Office to give us answers. They are trying to hide something.”
The Foreign Office said on Thursday evening that they were ready to help the Dunns, if they asked for assistance.
“When the Foreign Secretary met Harry’s family, he made it clear we would support them as much as possible, and they should not hesitate to reach out if needed," a spokesman said.
"The Foreign Secretary wrote to Harry’s family at the weekend to update them on developments."
The Foreign Office said that the situation is "not acceptable."
"We continue to press for the individual concerned to engage with the UK legal process,” the spokesman said.
All four agree that the trip has been worthwhile. The US coverage has been intense, with the family or Mr Seiger appearing on breakfast shows, late night shows and news broadcasts in between. They will return if need be, they say, to keep pressing the issue.
“He’d be very proud of all this,” said Mrs Dunn. “He fought for peoples’ rights. If he knew he was in the right, he’d fight for it.”
“If someone was upset he’d find out why and try to right it. He was always there with bear hugs,” said Mrs Charles.
Asked what her son wished for in life, she laughed.
“To ride as far around the world on his bike as possible,” she said.
Mr Dunn added: “He was 19, good looking, he had money and a motorbike. What more do you want in life?!”
Mrs Charles continued: “He had a full time job in customer service. He went through college, got distinctions and merits in video programming and gaming. But his passion was motorbikes. He rode over 50,000 miles, had his first one when he was seven.
“He loved football, and his family, and his bikes.”
And all four said the highlight of the trip had been seeing the support from the American public.
"They've been coming up to us and hugging us, on the street," said Mrs Charles. "And the social media support has been overwhelming."
Mr Dunn agreed. "The people of New York have been fabulous. Everyone agrees with us."
They also took a momentary break from the non-stop interviews to visit the September 11 memorial in Manhattan - something they all said was deeply moving.
"We couldn't come here, with everything we are going through, and not stop to pay our respects to those families," said Mrs Charles.
"It was a beautiful place. And a really special moment for us as a family."