Crowdfunding page for family caught in immunity row reaches £10,000 target
A crowdfunding page set up for a family fighting to bring the wife of a US diplomat over to the UK to face legal proceedings after the death of their son has reached its £10,000 target.
Harry Dunn, 19, was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car which was thought to have been driving on the wrong side of the road after leaving an RAF base on August 27.
The suspect in the case, 42-year-old Anne Sacoolas, who is reportedly married to a US intelligence official, was granted diplomatic immunity after the crash outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire – a military base used by the US Air Force.
Northamptonshire Police have written to the US embassy in London to demand immunity is waived for Mrs Sacoolas, who left the UK after the crash despite telling officers she did not plan to do so.
Northamptonshire’s chief constable Nick Adderley said US authorities had been appealed to in “the strongest terms” to apply a waiver and “allow the justice process to take place”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson also urged the US to reconsider its decision to give immunity to the diplomat’s wife, saying: “I do not think it can be right to use the process of diplomatic immunity for this type of purpose.”
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who spoke with the US ambassador Woody Johnson, raised the case in a telephone call with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
A Foreign Office spokesman said Mr Raab had “reiterated his disappointment with the US decision and urged them to reconsider”.
Now, the GoFundMe page, which was set up just six days ago and is intended to help the family begin their “campaign to search for justice” and to help Harry’s twin brother Niall, has reached its target.
The description on the page, which has been named “Justice 4 Harry”, reads: “Harry’s loss has left an enormous hole in the lives of the family and they are understandably going through a shattering and life-changing time.
“This funding page is being set up to help the family and his twin brother Niall through these traumatic times and to build up a fund as the family embark on a campaign to search for justice for Harry as the legal process unfolds.
“We will update this page as frequently as we can. In the meantime, we would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for any amount of money you are able to donate, no matter how big or small.”
Despite saying the family felt “supported” by people from around the world, Harry’s mother Charlotte Charles told BBC Breakfast it has still been a very difficult process.
She said: “I think help is a bit of a strong word for it. We feel very very supported and we are extremely grateful.
“We’ve had many words of comfort but nothing is going to really help us… we can’t start to grieve – it’s been very very difficult.”
Asked if she had had any contact from Mrs Sacoolas after the crash, Ms Charles said: “Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
“I think that’s one of the hardest things we’re having to deal with is because we have got a name and we have got a face and still nothing – it just seems inhumane.
“It just doesn’t feel right. As a mother myself and many other people who have come forward and fought for us – all the way around the world now – it’s just really distressing not to have any word from her being a mum herself.
“I can’t get my head around that, it doesn’t sit well with me.”