THE grieving parents of hit-and-run victim Harry Dunn hailed a “breakthrough” in the case as they landed in the US to confront the woman accused of killing their son.
Charlotte Charles, 44, and Tim Dunn, 50, the parents of the Brit teen, touched down in New York on Sunday night ahead of a potential meeting with suspect Anne Sacoolas.
Sacoolas, who is a US diplomat’s wife, claimed immunity and fled back to the US after allegedly knocking down and killing Harry – while driving on the wrong side of the road in Northamptonshire.
But on Sunday the UK Foreign Office said Sacoolas, 42, is no longer covered by diplomatic immunity – because she is now in the US.
Speaking about the development, Mrs Charles told the Daily Mail: “The letter from the FCO was amazing, we felt like we finally had a breakthrough.
“We finally had confirmed that the immunity that we didn’t think she had has been confirmed, that she doesn’t have it, certainly since she absconded back to the USA.”
The devastated parents now believe they are “stepping in the right direction” and hope to have a face-to-face meeting with Sacoolas.
Their son Harry, 19, died on August 27 when Sacoolas, 42, allegedly smashed into his motorbike while driving her Volvo outside an RAF airbase.
As news broke that Sacoolas no longer had immunity, she finally broke her silence and offered to meet with Harry’s family to “express her deepest sympathies and apologies”.
But Mrs Charles told Sky News that “sorry just doesn’t cut it” and “that’s not really quite enough”.
Speaking to Sky News, the devastated mum said: “My opinion on Anne Sacoolas now wanting to come forward and say sorry – to be perfectly honest, yes it’s the start of some closure for our family.
“Having said that, as it’s nearly seven weeks now since we lost our boy, sorry just doesn’t cut it.
“That’s not really quite enough. But I’m still really open to meeting her, as are the rest of us. I can’t promise what I would or wouldn’t say, but I certainly wouldn’t be aggressive.”
The Sun Says
IT seems that “sorry” is not the hardest word, after all, for Anne Sacoolas.
With the news that she no longer has diplomatic immunity over the car crash which killed Brit Harry Dunn, 19, in August, the US intelligence officer’s wife broke her silence yesterday.
Mrs Sacoolas’s lawyers said she wanted to meet Harry’s family “to express her deepest sympathy and apologies”.
Understandably, Harry’s parents Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn were less than impressed as they flew to America yesterday in search of justice, and Charlotte said: “As it’s nearly seven weeks now since we lost our boy, sorry just doesn’t cut it.”
If the “devastated” Mrs Sacoolas truly does appreciate the pain Harry’s loss has caused, she will hopefully admit she was wrong to flee England, return and let police continue their investigations.
In the meantime, we hope a meeting with Harry’s parents will help them on the way towards some sort of closure.
It’s the very least they deserve.
Charlotte made the comments ahead of the family today flying to the US to visit both New York and Washington DC to put pressure on the US government to “do the right thing”.
It comes after they were handed the letter from Raab confirming Sacoolas does not have immunity.
The letter said: “The question remains when such immunity comes to an end, regardless of any waiver.
“We have looked at this very carefully, as I wanted to be confident in the position before conveying it to you.
“The UK government’s position is that immunity, and therefore any question of waiver, is no longer relevant in Mrs Sacoolas’ case, because she has returned home.
“The US have now informed us that they too consider that immunity is no longer pertinent.”
‘I’M OVER THE MOON’
The letter goes on to say the police and the CPS would now take the case forward.
And Tim Dunn said Mr Raab’s letter was “excellent news”.
He told Sky: “It doesn’t replace not having Harry..we still would rather Harry in our lives and we are still going to America and we will fight to get this law changed.
“We’ve still got this to do for other people but as of tonight, I’m over the moon…I’m so, so happy.”
‘MEET AT THE EARLIEST OPPORTUNITY’
She has now finally broken her silence and offered to meet with Harry’s family to “express her deepest sympathies and apologies”.
Mum Charlotte had previously described Sacoolas’ protection as an “abuse of diplomatic immunity”.
Anne Sacoolas issues statement through her lawyers
“Anne is devastated by this tragic accident. No loss compares to the death of a child and Anne extends her deepest sympathy to Harry Dunn’s family.
“The media reporting has been inaccurate in many respects. To begin with, Anne fully cooperated with the police and the investigation.
“She spoke with authorities at the scene of the accident and met with the Northampton police at her home the following day. She will continue to cooperate with the investigation.
“Anne would like to meet with Mr Dunn’s parents so that she can express her deepest sympathies and apologies for this tragic accident.
“We have been in contact with the family’s attorneys and look forward to hearing from them.”
CRASH ‘BROKE’ HIS BODY
Speaking to The Sunday Times, she told how the last time she saw her son alive was when he rode past her on the motorbike as she made her way home from work.
She said: “I put my hand up and I smiled to myself and thought: ‘I’ll see you in a couple of hours’.
“The next time I saw him was a few hours later. But he was lying dead in the hospital.”
Charlotte revealed her tragic son “broke” his body in the devastating crash – but his £700 helmet left his “beautiful” face unscathed.
She has hit out at Sacoolas for fleeing the country without giving answers – and said the nightmare ordeal has affected Harry’s twin brother Niall the most.
THE 1961 Vienna Convention makes foreign diplomats and their families immune from prosecution in their host country.
Those who hold that status cannot be automatically charged with a crime — but immunity can be waived by the state that has sent them following an appeal from the Foreign Office.
The immunity only usually covers those based in London, but a special deal with the US extended that to RAF Croughton.
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Charlotte told the newspaper: “It’s inhumane. It’s not right.
“It’s not just a clear-cut case of driving on the wrong side of the road, ‘Oops, sorry!’ A life has been taken.”
Northamptonshire Police have now passed a file to the CPS to decide on whether to prosecute her for causing death by dangerous driving.
Downing Street last week said the case was “extremely concerning” and urged the US to “reconsider their position” so “the justice process can take place”.