US diplomat’s wife gets suspended sentence after killing British teenager with her car

File
File – Charlotte Charles, mother of Harry Dunn, on her arrival at the trial in the death of her son, victim of reckless driving by American Anne Sacoolas. – TAYFUN SALCI / ZUMA PRESS / CONTACTOPHOTO

American Anne Sacoolas, the wife of a U.S. intelligence diplomat, was given a suspended eight-month jail sentence Thursday after admitting to killing British teenager Harry Dunn with her car in 2019.

Sacoolas has also been stripped of her driving license for a year, a British court has concluded, while the family of the deceased declared «horrified» after learning that the U.S. government recommended the official not to appear in court, as requested by the judge in charge of the case.

Sacoolas, the wife of U.S. intelligence diplomat Jonathan Sacoolas, confirmed that on Aug. 27, 2019, she was driving her vehicle in the wrong direction when she collided with Dunn’s motorcycle in front of a military base in the Northamptonshire region, according to the BBC.

Little or almost nothing is known about the Sacoolas’ past because U.S. lawyers have prevented the release of data about the couple’s employment, citing «national security» concerns. The military base near the scene of the hit-and-run, Croughton, is known to be a data collection center for the CIA and the U.S. National Security Agency.

In September 2019, just 20 days after the incident, Scoolas left British territory for the United States benefiting from diplomatic immunity granted by then US President Donald Trump. Dunn’s family went to Washington the following month to put pressure on the president.

The British prosecutor’s office decided to charge Scoolas in December 2019 for causing Dunn’s death after reckless driving, a crime that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison but in many cases is usually limited to a punishment with community service.

The British Crown Prosecution Service then requested the extradition of the U.S. citizen, a request that was rejected by Washington, sparking a dispute between the two countries.

Dunn’s family had previously demanded that the British government disclose whether the United States had requested additional protection for Sacoolas because of her links to the CIA.

In a statement read out Thursday afternoon, the late young man’s mother, Charlotte Charles, lamented how her son had been «senselessly and cruelly» removed from his family, who were still racked by stress and depression.