Harry Dunn: US citizen Annie Sacoolas pleads guilty to causing death of motorcyclist


Annie Sacoolas, the American woman accused of killing 19-year-old British motorcyclist Harry Dunn in a traffic accident near a U.S. military base, pleaded guilty Thursday to causing the charge of his death.

Sacoolas claimed diplomatic immunity on her behalf and was able to leave the UK just weeks after the August 2019 fatal traffic accident outside RAF Croughton, the US military base where her husband was a US diplomat in the UK base.

Britain’s attempt to extradite Sacoolas to face charges of causing death by dangerous driving was rejected by U.S. authorities, sparking some tensions between the two countries.

Sacoolas, who is in the United States, made a virtual appearance at Old Bailey Court in London on Thursday via video link.

The 45-year-old man admitted causing death by careless driving. She has pleaded not guilty to a more serious charge of causing death by dangerous driving, and UK prosecutors have said they will not charge her with dangerous driving.

Sacoolas admitted driving on the wrong road at the time of the collision.

Careless driving causing death is punishable by up to five years in prison.

High Court Lady Justice Cheema-Grubb, who presided over the proceedings, said Sacoolas was now a “convicted criminal” and ordered her disqualification from driving in the UK.

Cheema-Grubb said she had not yet decided what sentence would be imposed on Sacoolas, but admitted to the court that “any sentence I pass may not be enforced while the accused remains outside the UK.”

Cheema-Grubb again called for Sacoolas to return to the UK to face sentence, but said she could not force her to do so.

Sentencing is scheduled for the week of November 28.

Dunn’s family wore green ties and scarves in court on Thursday in honor of the 19-year-old. After hearing Sacoolas admit her guilt, they spoke of their “release”.

This is the first time the family has seen Sacoolas in court. Dunn’s mother Charlotte Charles told the UK’s PA Media news agency: “Going to court and still worried about ‘Will she be there?'”

Charles said her family had accepted Sacoolas’s guilty plea to the lesser charge of careless driving causing death because they “didn’t want to separate her from the children.”

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