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Key events following the death of Harry Dunn one year ago


By PA News

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One year on from his death, the family of Harry Dunn continue to fight for justice in a case which has sparked diplomatic tensions between Washington and London.

Here are the key events following the 19-year-old’s death:

Harry Dunn (Family Handout/PA)
Harry Dunn (Family Handout/PA)

2019

– August 27

Motorcyclist Harry Dunn collides with a Volvo outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire.

He is taken to the John Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford but is pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

– August 28

Northamptonshire Police interview 42-year-old suspect Anne Sacoolas in connection with the crash.

A motorbike convoy follows Harry Dunn’s last ride in Brackley as a tribute to the teenager (Andrew Matthews/PA)
A motorbike convoy follows Harry Dunn’s last ride in Brackley as a tribute to the teenager (Andrew Matthews/PA)

– August 30

A briefing note copied to the Foreign Secretary’s private office reveals the concern for the potential for “very unpalatable headlines”.

– September 13

A request to waive diplomatic immunity claimed by Ms Sacoolas is formally rejected by the US.

– September 14

A senior Foreign Office official sends a text message to their US counterpart saying: “I think that now the decision has been taken not to waive, there’s not much mileage in us asking you to keep the family here. It’s obviously not us approving of their departure but I think you should feel able to put them on the next flight out … ”

Tim Dunn (second left), the father of Harry Dunn, with Harry’s stepfather Bruce Charles (right) and family spokesman Radd Seiger (left) as they arrive at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for a meeting with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab (Jonathan Brady/PA)
Tim Dunn (second left), the father of Harry Dunn, with Harry’s stepfather Bruce Charles (right) and family spokesman Radd Seiger (left) as they arrive at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for a meeting with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab (Jonathan Brady/PA)

– September 15

Ms Sacoolas leaves the country on a United States Air Force plane, but the Dunn family are not informed of her departure until three weeks later.

Northamptonshire Police are also not told that she has left the UK.

– October 4

Harry’s parents Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn call on US President Donald Trump to intervene and waive immunity for Ms Sacoolas.

– October 5

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab urges US Ambassador Woody Johnson to waive immunity for Ms Sacoolas.

Harry Dunn’s aunt, Katie Grant, ties green ribbons around a tree in his memory (Steve Parsons/PA)
Harry Dunn’s aunt, Katie Grant, ties green ribbons around a tree in his memory (Steve Parsons/PA)

– October 6

Police write to the US Embassy in London to demand immunity is waived.

– October 7

Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the US should “reconsider its position” on the immunity given to Ms Sacoolas.

– October 9

Mrs Charles and Mr Dunn attend a meeting with the Foreign Secretary which leaves them “angry and frustrated” and feeling as though it was a “publicity stunt”.

Mr Johnson speaks to Mr Trump personally to ask him to reconsider the US’s position.

US President Donald Trump (Alex Brandon/PA)
US President Donald Trump (Alex Brandon/PA)

– October 12

Ms Sacoolas breaks her silence and issues a statement through her lawyer, saying the crash left her “devastated”.

– October 14

Mr Dunn’s family hold a press conference in New York after taking their fight for justice to the US.

– October 15

Mr Dunn’s family announce their intention to launch a judicial review into the advice given by the Foreign Office to Northamptonshire Police over the diplomatic immunity given to Ms Sacoolas.

The White House calls an “urgent” meeting with Mr Dunn’s family and they have talks with Mr Trump.

Mrs Charles and Mr Dunn refuse to meet Ms Sacoolas, who was in the room next door as they met Mr Trump.

Harry Dunn’s family at a press conference in New York (Josh Payne/PA)
Harry Dunn’s family at a press conference in New York (Josh Payne/PA)

– October 31

Northamptonshire Police confirm they had interviewed the suspect in the case in the US and were passing the file of evidence over to the CPS.

– December 20

The CPS charges Ms Sacoolas with causing death by dangerous driving.

Charlotte Charles is embraced after she gathered with friends and family at Portland Bill to scatter her son’s ashes in his favourite place in Weymouth, Dorset, a month before the anniversary of his death (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Charlotte Charles is embraced after she gathered with friends and family at Portland Bill to scatter her son’s ashes in his favourite place in Weymouth, Dorset, a month before the anniversary of his death (Andrew Matthews/PA)

2020

– January 10

The Home Office submit an extradition request for Ms Sacoolas.

– January 23

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo formally rejects the extradition request for Ms Sacoolas.

– January 24

The Home Office say the refusal of their extradition request amounts to a “denial of justice”.

The Foreign Secretary said the UK “would have acted differently if this had been a UK diplomat serving in the US”.

Members of Harry’s family at Portland Bill (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Members of Harry’s family at Portland Bill (Andrew Matthews/PA)

– May 11

The family receive an e-mail from Northamptonshire Police saying Ms Sacoolas is “wanted internationally” and reports of an Interpol Red Notice being issued for the suspect follow.

– May 12

The US State Department say the decision not to extradite Ms Sacoolas is “final” after Interpol Red Notice claims.

– May 20

Mr Dunn’s mother calls for Mr Raab’s resignation.

Charlotte Charles, Bruce Charles (left) and family friend Isaac Seiger hug outside the Ministry of Justice in London after meeting the director of public prosecutions. Anne Sacoolas has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving (David Mirzoeff/PA)
Charlotte Charles, Bruce Charles (left) and family friend Isaac Seiger hug outside the Ministry of Justice in London after meeting the director of public prosecutions. Anne Sacoolas has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving (David Mirzoeff/PA)

– May 28

The family announce their intention to bring a private prosecution against the Foreign Secretary, accusing him of misconduct in a public office and perverting the course of justice.

– June 18

The family are refused documents on the UK’s secret agreement with the US in their first High Court battle with the Foreign Office.

– July 22

Mr Raab announces the “anomaly” which allowed Ms Sacoolas to claim diplomatic immunity following the road crash that killed Mr Dunn has been amended.

– July 26

Harry Dunn’s parents drop their legal claim against Northamptonshire Police after concluding the force is “absolved of any blame”.

– August 25

The Lord Chancellor said Attorney General Suella Braverman was considering the possibility of trying Ms Sacoolas virtually or in her absence.

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