Harry Dunn's 'killer' bids to dismiss US civil claim against her
22nd October 2020

Harry Dunn’s ‘killer’ bids to dismiss US civil claim against her over 19-year-old’s road crash death as Boris Johnson vows to help his family fight case

  • Harry Dunn was killed when his bike hit a car outside a US military base last year
  • Anne Sacoolas’ representatives admitted she was driving on wrong side of road 
  • Lawyers for the alleged killer have now applied to dismiss a claim for damages 
  • Harry’s family say the lawyers’ application is ‘pouring salt in the wounds’  
  • Boris Johnson offers to write to courts in Virginia to support civil proceedings

Harry Dunn’s alleged killer has applied to dismiss a US civil claim against her over the 19-year-old’s death last year – as Boris Johnson vowed to help his family for justice.

Teenage motorcyclist Harry was killed when his bike crashed into a car outside US military base RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on August 27 last year.

Representatives for Anne Sacoolas has previously admitted she was driving on the wrong side of the road for around 20 seconds before the horrific crash.

But lawyers acting on the 43-year-old’s behalf have applied to dismiss a civil claim for damages against her in the US. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has offered to support Harry’s by filing an ‘amicus brief,’ in the proceedings to a court in Virginia.

The legal document filed by the Prime Minister could offer additional information for the court to consider. 

Harry Dunn, 19, was killed when his motorbike collided with a car outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire last year. Lawyers for his alleged killer, Anne Sacoolas, have filed a motion to dismiss a civil case in the US over his death 

In a letter sent to the family’s constituency MP Andrea Leadsom, Boris Johnson said the Government would also ‘fund their accommodation for the family to attend court hearings’.

PA understands the Dunn family’s lawyers have until December 14 to respond to Sacoolas’s lawyers’ application.

Their spokesman, Radd Seiger, described the motion to dismiss the civil claim as ‘pouring salt in the wounds’, but said the parents ‘take comfort’ from the Prime Minister’s involvement in the case.

Mr Dunn, 19, was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car outside US military base RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on August 27 last year.

Anne Sacoolas left England shortly after the fatal crash last August. She has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving but an extradition request was rejected by the US State Department a month later 

Diplomatic immunity was asserted by the US on behalf of Sacoolas following the collision and she was able to return to her home country, sparking an international controversy.

She was charged with causing death by dangerous driving in December last year but an extradition request was rejected by the US State Department a month later.

In his letter to Mrs Leadsom, the Prime Minister said he continued to take a ‘close interest’ in the case.

He said: ‘I would like to begin by reiterating my deep condolences to Harry’s family.

Boris Johnson has offered to intervene in the civil case by sending an ‘amicus brief,’ to a court in Virginia, a legal document that offers new information to be considered

‘They have suffered tremendous pain, which I know has been compounded by the US refusal to extradite Anne Sacoolas. 

‘I have raised this case repeatedly with President Trump, and the Foreign Secretary also discussed this with Secretary of State Pompeo during his recent visit to the US.

‘I regret that there is no change in the US position.’

Commenting on the civil proceedings, the letter continued: ‘We have separately committed to supporting the family in the civil case they have now launched in the US.

‘We will fund their accommodation for the family to attend court hearings there, and are in touch with their US lawyers to understand if it would be helpful also to file an amicus brief in the proceedings.

‘I continue to take a close interest in this case. I have asked the Foreign Secretary to be the lead point of contact with the family, and he will of course meet with them again as soon as there are any significant developments.

‘Please let me reassure you that I am determined for this Government to do all that we can to support the efforts by Harry’s family to achieve justice.’

Boris Johnson said he had raised Harry Dunn’s case ‘repeatedly,’ to US President Donald Trump

Speaking on behalf of Mr Dunn’s parents about the application to dismiss the civil claim, Mr Seiger told PA: ‘People are judged by their actions, not words.

‘Through her lawyers, but never personally, Mrs Sacoolas has talked about how devastated she is about the ‘accident’. How terrible she feels.

‘Harry’s parents have always viewed those as mere empty words.

‘Now that it is clear Mrs Sacoolas wants to also deprive them of their civil legal rights too they are forming their own conclusions and are rightly upset at this outrageous step being taken when they felt certain that this would also be the least contentious part of the dispute.’

Earlier this week Harry Dunn’s mother, Charlotte Charles, appealed to presidential candidate Joe Biden to ‘reconsider,’ the US’ decision not to extradite Sacoolas.

Mrs Charles appealed to Mr Biden to ‘do your best to amend’ the situation – saying Sacoolas ‘walking free’ was ‘tearing us apart as a family’.

In her video message, seen by the PA news agency, Mrs Charles said: ‘I would imagine you are aware of Harry’s case and our campaign – we’ve been running it for a year now.

‘Very, very sadly, a year on, Anne Sacoolas has still not been sent back here to the UK to face our justice system.

‘I please urge you, should you win on November 3 to please reconsider the position the US has taken against us – and when I say us I don’t just mean myself and the rest of the parents, I mean us as the UK as well.

‘We never, ever expected to be in this position. We never thought the lady who is responsible for taking our son’s life would have been able to fly home to the US and evade as best she could the UK justice system.’

Sacoolas’s legal representatives have been approached for comment. 

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