A UK court handed U.S. citizen Anne Sacoolas a suspended prison sentence Thursday for careless driving in a crash that caused the death of British motorcyclist.
The wife of a US diplomat was driving on the wrong side of the road when she struck 19-year-old Harry Dunn just outside a U.S. military base on August 27, 2019. The crash ended in the motorcyclist’s death and drew public outcry from Dunn’s family and British authorities after Sacoolas fled to the United States. The US claimed diplomatic immunity on Sacoolas’s behalf, according to the BBC. (RELATED: State Dept Is Working To ID Erdogan Bodyguards Who Beat Up Protesters In DC)
Dunn’s family spent the next three years pursuing justice for Harry, according to CNN. “There is an intense feeling of emptiness in the pit of my stomach without Harry around,” said Harry’s father, Charles. “His passing haunts me every minute of every day and I’m not sure how I will ever get over it.”
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Charlotte Charles, Harry Dunn’s mother, says “job done” and “promise kept” outside the court after Anne Sacoolas’ sentencing at the Old Bailey.
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On the U.S. government’s advice, Sacoolas never returned to the UK, appearing for Thursday’s sentencing by video link, the BBC noted. The US citizen pleaded guilty in October to causing Dunn’s death by careless driving, a crime punishable by up to five years in prison. Sacoolas was sentenced to eight months in prison, but will not serve time as long as she does not commit another offense in the next year, Fox News explained.
“Anne Sacoolas has finally been sentenced in a British court,” the BBC quoted Foreign Secretary James Cleverly. Cleverly also praised the Dunn family’s persistence in their pursuit of justice.
“My tragic mistake led to the loss of Harry and I live with this regret every single day,” Sacoolas said in a statement cited by the BBC.