US diplomat’s wife suspected of involvement in crash that killed teenager leaves UK after claiming diplomatic immunity

‘We have nothing. No justice. We have nothing to put our minds at rest that she’s even remorseful,’ says mother of victim

Samuel Osborne
Saturday 05 October 2019 20:44
Harry Dunn was hit while he was riding his motorbike.
Harry Dunn was hit while he was riding his motorbike.

The wife of a US diplomat has claimed diplomatic immunity to leave the UK after she became a suspect in a police investigation into a fatal car crash.

US officials said immunity was rarely waived, having ignored pleas from Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, for the country to block the woman’s leaving the UK.

Harry Dunn, 19, died after his motorbike collided with a car near RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on 27 August.

Speaking to Sky News, Mr Dunn’s mother, Charlotte Charles, said: “Everyone loved him, we’re utterly broken inside and out, everything hurts day and night, it’s an effort to do anything, I ache from it, every limb, every internal organ hurts.”

She added: “We don’t know how we can start to grieve for him.

“We have nothing. No justice. We have nothing to put our minds at rest that she’s even remorseful.”

But the US embassy in London told Sky: ”Any questions regarding a waiver of the immunity with regard to our diplomats and their family members overseas in a case like this receive intense attention at senior levels and are considered carefully given the global impact such decisions carry; immunity is rarely waived.”

Northamptonshire Police confirmed a 42-year-old American woman being treated as a suspect in their investigation had left the country.

Superintendent Sarah Johnson said: “Northamptonshire Police followed all of its usual procedures following the incident, including liaising closely with the suspect, who engaged fully with us at the time and had previously confirmed to us that she had no plans to leave the country in the near future.

“Due process was also followed in seeking the necessary documentation to allow for the arrest and formal interview of the suspect, and the force is now exploring all opportunities through diplomatic channels to ensure that the investigation continues to progress.”

She added: “We are also working closely with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in an effort to come to a resolution regarding this matter.

“Harry Dunn’s family deserve justice and in order to achieve this, a full and thorough investigation, with the assistance of all parties involved, needs to take place.

“Northamptonshire Police is committed to ensuring justice for Harry and specially trained officers continue to support the Dunn family in their loss, including keeping them fully informed of all developments in the investigation.”

In a statement, Mr Raab said: “I wish to offer my condolences to the family affected by this tragic incident.

“I have called the US ambassador to express the UK’s disappointment with their decision, and to urge the embassy to reconsider it.”

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In its own statement to Sky News, the US embassy in London offered its “deepest sympathies” to Mr Dunn’s family following the accident “involving a vehicle driven by the spouse of a US diplomat assigned to the United Kingdom”.

It added: “Embassy officials are in close contact with the appropriate British officials on this matter.

“Due to security and privacy considerations, we cannot confirm the identity of the individuals involved, but we can confirm the family has left the UK.”

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