Harry Dunn killer Anne Sacoolas sentenced at the Old Bailey

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American Anne Sacoolas has today (December 8, 2022) been sentenced to a custodial sentence of eight months, suspended for 12, and disqualified from driving for a year for death by careless driving after she collided with 19-year-old Harry Dunn in August 2019.

Sacoolas previously admitted killing teenager Harry Dunn while he rode his motorcycle near RAF Croughton, Northamptonshire. Three weeks after the collision Sacoolas left the UK for the US claiming diplomatic immunity.

The 45-year-old pleaded guilty, via video link, on October 20 at the Old Bailey and was urged by presiding judge, the Honourable Mrs Cheema-Grubb, to attend today’s hearing as it would show “a degree of remorse” although the court has no powers to impose such an order. 

The two-hour sentencing hearing saw an emotional Charlotte Charles, Harry’s mother, read a witness statement, her voice often breaking she described how the family had, since the August 2019 accident, “endured these three years, not enjoyed them”.

In summing up her sentence Cheema-Grub said: “Your conduct with your behaviour was not far short of deliberate dangerous driving, that resulted in a death.”

The judge ruled out non-custodial punishments, and the seriousness of the crime meant anything other than a custodial sentence would not bring justice to the family. 

Harry Dunn’s family have been campaigning for justice for the Kawasaki loving teenager for over three years and after vowing to Harry to bring him justice. Family spokesman Radd Seiger described the case as “one of the most remarkable in UK legal history.”

Anne Sacoolas admits causing Harry Dunn’s death

First published September 29, 2022 by Stuart Prestidge

American Anne Sacoolas has pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of death by careless driving after she collided with 19-year-old Harry Dunn in August 2019.

Appearing by video link at the Old Bailey, the 45-year-old spoke only to confirm her name and enter two pleas – a not guilty for the more serious death by dangerous driving before her plea of guilty.

She had been charged after colliding with the teenager on the B4031 outside US military base RAF Croughton where her husband was based.

Harry lost his life in a collision near RAF Croughton

Duncan Aitkinson, KC, for the CPS, said that the prosecution accepted the plea of count two and did not seek to proceed to trial on the first count.

Presiding judge, the Honourable Mrs Cheema-Grubb, deferred sentencing to the week commencing November 28. She placed a November 18 deadline on the submittance of impact statements from Harry’s friends and family.

Punishment could range from a community order to five years in prison. Mrs Cheema-Grubb said the sentence would be considered “at the highest level with great care” and would involve Harry’s family.

Justice 4 Harry banner

In summing up the judge said there was no order the court could impose to “compel Mrs Sacoolas’s attendance” but “there is no barrier stopping her attending”.

She added that voluntarily surrendering to the court would show a degree of remorse by American.

Addressing the media outside the court, family spokesman Radd Seiger described it as a “historic day” adding that this was the end of the campaign to get justice for Harry but the start of a larger campaign to stop this type of tragedy happening again.

Anne Sacoolas trial goes to court

The alleged driver of a vehicle that killed 19-year-old Harry Dunn in August 2019 while he was riding his motorcycle through Croughton, Northamptonshire, appeared in Westminster Magistrates Court today.

Anne Sacoolas is charged with causing death by dangerous driving and appeared via video link with legal representative Carissa Walcott. It marks the beginning of a criminal trial that has taken three years of campaigning by Harry’s mother, Charlotte Charles, family and friends.

Mrs Charles, along with around a dozen family members and supporters, arrived at the London court over an hour before the proceedings, all wearing black with Kawasaki green ties, scarfs and ‘Justice for Harry’ pins, in recognition of Harry’s favourite motorcycle manufacturer.

Warning sign near RAF Croughton

Speaking to MCN, a family spokesman said: “We are really glad to be here. We weren’t sure if we were going to make it to this day.

“We are so grateful to the media and supporters as we wouldn’t be here without them. It’s a strange day for all of us.”

Sacoolas, 45, spoke only to confirm here name and date of birth, giving a correspondence address as her point of contact.

Justice 4 Harry banner

Given the penalty for the original charge could result in a custodial sentence, the trial was scheduled for pre-trail proceedings at 9.30am Old Bailey on October 27, which Sacoolas has been advised to attend, although that may change with agreement from both legal parties.

Sacoolas is the wife of a member of the US military who was stationed at RAF Croughton. It is alleged she was driving on the wrong side of the road when she hit Harry Dunn.

He was pronounced dead at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital aged 19. Three weeks later Sacoolas left the UK for the US claiming diplomatic immunity.

Following the 20-minute hearing, a family spokesman thanked supporters outside the courthouse in front of media representatives.

Stuart Prestidge

By Stuart Prestidge