Harry Dunn: Anne Sacoolas in court accused of causing teenager’s death outside US military base

In court Sacoolas gave no address except the US branch of her lawyers, and offered no plea.

Anne Sacoolas, the wife of a US diplomat, appeared in court today for the first time accused of causing the death of teenage motorbike rider Harry Dunn.

Sacoolas allegedly hit the 19-year-old outside a US military base at RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire when she was driving her Volvo 4x4 on August 27, 2019.

The 45-year-old appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today (Thursday, September 29) by video link from the United States.

She returned to America 19 days after the alleged incident after having diplomatic immunity asserted on her behalf.

Artists impression of Anne Sacoolas, 45, appearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, London, via videolink. Image: Julia Quenzler / SWNS

Sacoolas has been charged with one count of causing death by dangerous driving after a bid by the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service(CPS) to extradite her was turned down by the US State Department.

In court today Sacoolas, who gave no address except that of the US branch of her lawyers, offered no plea to the charge.

But she indicated through her lawyer that if the allegation was changed to the lesser charge of causing death by careless driving she would enter a plea.

Flowers left in remembrance of Harry Dunn on the B4031 near RAF Croughton. Photo: Getty

Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson KC told the court: “A joint application was made in advance for her to appear by live link and we are grateful for that.

“She is charged with death by dangerous driving, which is an indictable-only offence, and the prosecution invites her case to be sent to the crown court.”

Harry’s family sat in the public gallery wearing green ties, ribbons and scarves - the colour of the teenager’s motorbike.

Harry Dunn’s family, including his father Tim Dunn (L) and mother Charlotte Charles (second from right) leave the City of Westminster Magistrates Court. Photo: Getty

In their campaign to get Sacoolas to face charges over the crash, the family met with President Donald Trump at the White House in October 2019.

Last year it emerged Sacoolas and her husband Jonathan both worked in US intelligence.

Chief Magistrate Paul Goldspring this afternoon gave Sacoolas unconditional bail ahead of a pre-trial hearing at the Old Bailey next month.

The RAF Croughton base near Brackley. Photo: Getty

He suggested she might have to attend the court in person at a later date or appeal to be allowed to carry on viewing via videolink.

Mr Goldspring added: "If the charge is changed there may potentially be a plea.

"At some point, it is almost certainly the case, if that were to happen, that whoever tries the case is going to have to consider what sentence to impose and whether it crosses the threshold of a custodial sentence.

“At the moment, she is appearing by video link but that might not be the appropriate way in future.

“I will make the direction that she is to attend and she can apply to the Recorder of London to appear by video.”

Sacoolas is next due to appear in court on Thursday, October 27.