Parents of U.K. teen killed by American driver lose High Court case in quest for justice

The parents of a 19-year old motorcyclist who was killed in a head-on collision with an American driver outside a British military base have lost their High Court battle over whether their son’s alleged killer had diplomatic immunity.

The legal challenge to the U.K.’s Foreign Office by Harry Dunn’s mother, Charlotte Charles, and father, Tim Dunn, claimed American Anne Sacoolas should not have been granted immunity.

Sacoolas admitted to police that she caused the crash outside the RAF Croughton military base in Northamptonshire, England, on August 27, 2019.

The 43-year old mother-of-three, whose husband Jonathan Sacoolas worked as a technical assistant at the base, which houses U.S. personnel, left the country a few weeks later after the U.S. asserted she was entitled to diplomatic immunity.

Sacoolas, who now lives in Virginia, was charged in the U.K. with causing death by dangerous driving last December. An extradition request was rejected by the U.S. State Department in January, a decision it later described as “final.”

In their conclusion Tuesday, the High Court’s Lord Justice Julian Flaux and Justice Pushpinder Saini stated “that Mrs. Sacoolas enjoyed immunity from U.K. criminal jurisdiction at the time of Harry’s death.”

Last October, President Trump attempted to quell outrage in the U.K. over Sacoolas’ quick move back to the U.S. after the accident. He invited Dunn’s parents to the White House and tried unsuccessfully to persuade the grieving couple to meet with Sacoolas, who was in an adjoining room.

The couple left the White House meeting saying they felt “ambushed” as they had not been told Sacoolas would be in the building.

In a statement to CBS News following the country’s ruling, Dunn’s mother, Charlotte Charles, said, “we’re obviously disappointed, it’s not the outcome we wanted. As always, we have a Plan B and an appeal has already gone in.”

“Our legal team were and still are extremely confident Anne Sacoolas did not have immunity at the time of the crash and certainly doesn’t now,” she said. “That instills confidence in us, we’re ready for the next phase.”

“We are hopeful that president-elect Biden will look at everything from a humane angle. He seems by far a more decent human being, as do the rest of his team,” said Charles. Biden’s first wife Neilia and infant daughter Naomi died in a car crash in 1972.

“We hold out hope that the U.S. government will have a decent side to them and they will realize what has happened is completely and utterly wrong.”

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