A spokesman for 19-year-old Harry Dunn’s family said they were “horrified” to learn that US government employee Anne Sacoolas has been granted permission to appear at the Old Bailey for her sentencing via video link.
Radd Seiger, a spokesman for the Dunn family, told the AP news agency the teenager’s parents think the US government is “actively interfering in our criminal justice system.”
“Harry’s family are victims of a serious crime and they have been kept completely in the dark about what will happen at Thursday’s hearing following Ms. Sacoolas’ guilty plea on October 20,” he said.
“We are horrified to learn that the US government is now actively interfering in our criminal justice system.
“Their ongoing cruel treatment of Harry’s parents is nothing short of inhumane and continues to take a heavy toll on their mental health.
“If there is a real reason why Ms. Sacoolas shouldn’t appear in court on Thursday, as stated by the judge, then the parents would gladly accept it.
“But at first glance, it appears that this is nothing short of a cowardly act on the part of an oppressor.
“I have requested an urgent meeting with Foreign Secretary James Cleverly today to find out what action the British government intends to take in response.”
The family’s reaction comes after a court spokesman said the joint application filed by the prosecution and defense for Sacoolas to attend and be sentenced via live link has been renewed.
Sacoolas was granted diplomatic immunity on her behalf by the US government after the incident in Northamptonshire, and was able to leave the UK after 19 days.
After pleading guilty to careless drivingafter crashing her Volvo into the young motorcyclist near RAF Croughton in August 2019, the sentencing judge Ms Justice Cheema-Grubb urged her to return to Britain to face justice, which was ignored .
Sacoolas attended both previous hearings via a video link from her attorney’s offices in Washington-DC, despite Ms Justice Cheema-Grubb saying that while she couldn’t force her to face justice in person, it would provide “heavy evidence” of “genuine remorse”.
Representatives for Sacoolas and the US State Department were contacted for comment.