Harry Dunn’s mother says she hopes the new US President Joe Biden will empathise with her situation because he too tragically lost a child.
Mr Dunn, 19, died after his motorcycle crashed into a car outside the US military base RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire in August 2019.
The suspect, 43-year-old Anne Sacoolas, had diplomatic immunity asserted on her behalf by the US government and she was able to return to America, sparking an ongoing campaign by Mr Dunn’s family to have Sacoolas face justice in Britain.
Charlotte Charles, Mr Dunn’s mother, appeared on ITV’s Lorraine today where she reissued her plea to Mr Biden, asking for Sacoolas to be sent to England.
Ms Charles told the programme’s host Lorraine Kelly: ‘My plea to President Biden needs to really reach over to him and we sincerely believe that he has received my plea.
Mr Dunn, 19, was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car outside US military base RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire in August 2019
‘We are very hopeful, Radd [Seiger], our spokesperson, bless him, has been continuing to have talks with senior officials both in London and in Washington, those talks are picking up momentum and we do hold out a lot of hope, we are feeling quite positive.’
Lorraine said that President Biden was probably one of the few people who knows what Ms Charles was going through, having lost a child himself.
Mr Biden’s first wife and youngest child were killed in a car accident after a tractor-trailer carrying corn broadsided the family’s Chevrolet station wagon.
Neilia, 30, and 13-month-old daughter Naomi, had been out shopping shortly before Christmas in 1972.
‘He knows that pain, and I’m sure he will absolutely empathise with you,’ Lorraine said.
Ms Charles said: ‘Yeah we certainly hope so, we’ve done a lot of homework on him, we’ve been studying him prior to the fact that he got into the presidency, we were desperately hoping that he would.
‘Absolutely we hope he is a president with a lot more heart and clearly can sympathise… we just hope to goodness he sticks to his word.
‘He believes in the rule of law, upholding the rule of law, he believes that nobody is above the law no matter who you are or what you do.
Lorraine said that President Biden was probably one of the few people who knows what Ms Charles was going through, having lost a child himself
Charlotte Charles, Mr Dunn’s mother, appeared on ITV’s Lorraine today where she reissued her plea to Mr Biden, asking for Anne Sacoolas to be sent to England
The suspect, 43-year-old Anne Sacoolas, had diplomatic immunity asserted on her behalf by the US government following the crash and she was able to return to her home country
‘I’m pleading with him to stick to those words and to do the right thing and make sure Anne Sacoolas faces the UK justice system.’
Paying tribute to her son, she added: ‘Harry was just larger than life, he loved life, he was just coming into his own, he treated every day as a new adventure, I owe it to him to do the same.’
Chief Crown Prosecutor for the East Midlands, Janine Smith, had written to Mr Dunn’s family just before the anniversary of the CPS’s decision to charge Ms Sacoolas, saying she was ‘satisfied that there remains sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction.’
Sacoolas was able to return to her home country after the US Government asserted diplomatic immunity on her behalf, sparking an international controversy.
Despite the charging decision by the CPS, and an extradition request submitted by the Home Office, the US State Department refused to return her to the UK – describing the decision as ‘final’.
In a meeting with the Director of Public Prosecutions in September, the family was told the CPS had concluded Sacoolas did not have immunity at the time of the collision.
The family had contested the diplomatic immunity asserted on behalf of the suspect, but High Court judges accepted the Foreign Office’s position that Sacoolas ‘enjoyed immunity from UK criminal jurisdiction’.
Mr Dunn’s parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, were granted permission to appeal against the judgment.