Harry Dunn's parents head to United States 'in pursuit of justice for our son' as part of damages claim against Anne Sacoolas

Northamptonshire family will give evidence in Virginia court and could meet teen's alleged killer for the first time

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 2:43 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 2:46 pm

Harry Dunn's parents are travelling to the United States today (Tuesday, June 29) to give evidence in their damages claim against the American accused of killing their son.

Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn will be flying to Washington DC ahead of the 'deposition' process in a Virginia court, which is due to begin on Thursday (July 1), in the case against Anne Sacoolas.

They will form part of the 'discovery' process in the family's claim, in which correspondence and documentation relevant to the case will be handed over ahead of a trial at the end of the year.

Harry Dunn
Harry Dunn

It could be the first time the two parties meet as Sacoolas has the option to be present when the parents are in court, while she must give legal testimony by July 23.

Mrs Charles said: "Today, we are flying out to the United States once again in pursuit of justice for our son.

"We are so grateful to the court in Virginia for allowing our civil claim to proceed there.

"We know that is not what the US Government wanted and the insurers did their best to kick the case back to the UK.

Harry Dunn's family (L-R) Bruce Charles, Charlotte Charles, Ciaran Charles, Radd Seiger, Tracey Dunn and Tim Dunn

"It does not matter how much they try to beat us down. Our whole family are suffering intensely but to be honest we would travel to the end of the Earth and back if that is what it takes.

"It is punishing and exhausting travelling at the best of times and obviously more difficult in the middle of the pandemic, but they have required us to travel to appear at our depositions on Thursday and that is just what we will do."

Harry, 19, from Charlton, was killed after his motorcycle was involved in a crash with Sacoolas' car which was on the wrong side of the road outside Croughton in August, 2019.

The driver controversially claimed diplomatic immunity as her husband Jonathan was working for the US government at RAF Croughton and left the country.

She has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving but the US State Department has repeatedly refused to extradite her.

Harry's family are suing Sacoolas and her husband for damages in the Alexandria District Court in the US state of Virginia, which previously heard the pair's work in intelligence was a factor in them leaving Britain.

Tim said: "We loved our boy so much and are lost without him. Every day that goes by is getting more and more painful.

"We have never done anything like this before and don’t know what to expect.

"It’s obviously daunting being involved in any court case but this is all about our suffering since we lost Harry and we will do whatever it takes to get justice."

Earlier this month Prime Minister Boris Johnson reiterated to Joe Biden that the UK wants to see justice done for the family ahead of the G7 summit in Cornwall.

Then Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said 'the path was now clear' for a 'virtual trial or process' for Sacoolas after previous hopes of such a hearing have been dashed.

The parents' spokesperson and advisor, Radd Seiger, said 'they continue to conduct themselves with dignity and respect notwithstanding the nightmare they have suffered ever since Harry died'.

"They are showing bravery and moral courage beyond belief and continue to do everything that has been asked of them to get justice," he said.

"Although they were pleased to see that the path towards criminal justice in the UK has been cleared by President Biden and Mr Johnson, the wheels of justice continue to turn too slowly.

"I would urge authorities both in London and Washington to do what ever they can to speed up the process given the appalling level of suffering Harry’s family continue to endure."