Fund for bereaved family fighting diplomatic immunity rule hits £10,000

Anne Sacoolas (42) left UK shortly after crash that killed Harry Dunn (19)

Flowers left in remembrance of motorcyclist Harry Dunn  (19) on the road where he died near RAF Croughton on October 7thPhotograph:  Peter Summers/Getty

Flowers left in remembrance of motorcyclist Harry Dunn (19) on the road where he died near RAF Croughton on October 7thPhotograph: Peter Summers/Getty

 

A crowdfunding page set up for a family fighting to bring the wife of a US diplomat back to the UK to face legal proceedings after the death of their son has reached its £10,000 (€11,150) target.

Harry Dunn (19) was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car that was reportedly being driven on the wrong side of the road after leaving an RAF base on August 27th.

The suspect in the case, Anne Sacoolas (42), who is understood to be married to a US intelligence official, was granted diplomatic immunity after the crash outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire – a military base used by the US Air Force.

Northamptonshire Police has written to the US embassy in London to request that immunity is waived for Ms Sacoolas, who left the UK after the crash despite telling officers she did not plan to do so.

Northamptonshire’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”.

British 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.”

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab, who spoke with the US ambassador to the UK, Woody Johnson, raised the case in a telephone call with secretary of state Mike Pompeo.

A British Foreign Office spokesman said Mr Raab had “reiterated his disappointment with the US decision and urged them to reconsider”.

A 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.

Crowdfunding

The description on the page, 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.”

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

“I think help is a bit of a strong word for it. 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,” she said.

Asked if she had had any contact from Ms 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.” – PA