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US News Parents of teen killed in crash don't want US diplomat's wife punished

14:55  07 october  2019
14:55  07 october  2019 Source:   news.sky.com

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The parents of a British teenager killed in a car crash which is thought to have involved an American diplomat's wife said they do not want her to be punished after she left the country.

Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn told Sky News they want Anne Sacoolas to come back to the UK to face them after their son, Harry Dunn, 19, died in hospital following a head-on collision with a car while riding his motorbike.

a man standing next to a tree: Tim Dunn and Charlotte Charles said they want US diplomat's wife Anne Sacoolas to return to the UK © Sky News Screen Grab Tim Dunn and Charlotte Charles said they want US diplomat's wife Anne Sacoolas to return to the UK Police believe Mrs Sacoolas, 42, pulled out on to the wrong side of the road as she emerged from Northamptonshire's RAF Croughton on 27 August.

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Sky News named the diplomat's wife on Sunday after earlier revealing a deal gives diplomats and their families at the US spy base diplomatic immunity, despite only London-based US diplomats and their dependents usually being covered.

a man standing in front of a brick wall: Harry Dunn. Pic: Facebook © Other Harry Dunn. Pic: Facebook

Harry's parents have criticised Mrs Sacoolas for leaving the country and today told Sky News they do not "necessarily" want her to be punished.

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Mrs Charles said: "Come home, come back to the UK. We're not a horrible family, we're a usual UK family that just need to put a face to what we have now is a name.

a person sitting on a couch: Harry Dunn © Sky News Screen Grab Harry Dunn

"Talk to her, find out how she's feeling. She's got to be suffering as well, she's a mum.

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"Without knowing who this person is properly we can't begin to try and start our grieving process.

"We just don't understand from one human to another, one mum to another, how you could just get on a plane and leave behind the devastation she has without even speaking to us, without an apology of any kind?"

She appealed for Boris Johnson to use the UK's "special relationship" with the US to "its full potential" to get Mrs Sacoolas to return to the UK.

a close up of a newspaper: A letter sent to the family from the US ambassador following Harry's death © Sky News Screen Grab A letter sent to the family from the US ambassador following Harry's death

The parents said their MP, Andrea Leadsom, has told them she will fight for them to get justice, while Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has also been helpful.

"If it comes to it we will go to Washington," she said.

"But we don't want it to come to that. We don't see why it should come to that.

"We're not out to keep fighting, we just want to sit and talk with her."

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Mr Dunn said they were struggling to understand how Mrs Sacoolas was given diplomatic immunity and how she could leave the country.

He said: "She was compliant with the police, she admitted at the time she was in the wrong.

"We know from the police she was going to stay in the country, she was permitted to stay here for three years.

"And then we didn't think this would be what is happening, so to hear the news a few weeks after the funeral was devastating."

Related: Crash death mother appeals to US president

Mrs Charles said the family are "not coping" and just trying to get through each hour of every day after the death of the son they said kept the family together after she and Mr Dunn split up when Harry was young.

She said: "Harry always fought for what he thought was right. We're honouring him by doing this. We just have to keep going to try to get some closure.

"All we need to do is to meet her, all we need to do is ask her to come back. It's not much to ask. She's left a family in complete ruin. We're broken.

"Many of us, not just direct parents, siblings, grandparents, aunties, uncles, nieces - it's everything.

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"We're all broken and we're just utterly shocked and appalled that somebody is allowed to get on a plane and go home and avoid our justice system."

Mr Dunn added that their understanding of diplomatic immunity is to keep diplomats safe if they are under threat "not for something like this where they've hurt somebody".

Sky News has tried to contact Mrs Sacoolas for comment but was unable to do so as she has not returned to her original address in the US.

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