Watch CBS News

American Anne Sacoolas appears before U.K courts via videolink over crash that killed teenager Harry Dunn

U.K. parents give evidence in crash case
Family of Harry Dunn make trip to America to continue their fight for justice 02:13

An American woman who fled the U.K. claiming diplomatic immunity after she was involved in a fatal traffic accident in 2019 has appeared in a British court via videolink — an apparent breakthrough in the long-deadlocked case.

Anne Sacoolas, 45, accompanied by her lawyer, appeared before the court by video link dressed in a dark jacket and blue printed scarf during the 6-minute hearing Thursday at Westminster Magistrates Court in London, speaking only to confirm her name. 

Paul Goldspring, the chief magistrate, told Sacoolas that she must attend the next hearing of the case in person on October 27th, but said she could apply to appear again by video link, CBS News correspondent Imtiaz Tyab reported. 

Sacoolas has admitted to the lesser charge of causing death by careless driving, but the court has charged her with causing death by dangerous driving, which carries with it a potential prison sentence, after Dunn, who was riding on a motorcycle, was killed in a head on collision outside the US military base RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on August 27, 2019.

Sacoolas and her husband, who had been a U.S. intelligence officer at the air base, returned to America days after the accident. The U.S. government invoked diplomatic immunity on her behalf, prompting an outcry in Britain.

Also in attendance were Dunn's parents Tim Dunn and Charlotte Charles, who were dressed in all black apart from neon green scarves and neckties — the color of their Justice for Harry campaign. The pair were largely expressionless throughout the proceedings.

Parents Of Harry Dunn In Court As Anne Sacoolas Appears Via Videolink
Mother Charlotte Charles and family of Harry Dunn arrive at The City of Westminster Magistrates Court on September 29, 2022 in London, England.  Getty Images

Dunn's family has met with politicians in the U.K. and the U.S. to demand that Sacoolas face justice in a British court. But American authorities rejected Britain's extradition request.

Last year, Dunn's parents came to the states to demand justice for their son. The pair appeared on "CBS Mornings" and said that all they wanted from Sacoolas was for her to take accountability for her actions. 

"I just want her to own it — her accountability — for what she has done to us as a family and to my son. And I need to ask her why she left, why did she think it was okay to leave my son there and — and just leave the country. It still hurts after two years not knowing," Tim Dunn told "CBS Mornings."

"I feel like my son's life was just — I don't want to be horrible, but like it was — meant nothing to her," he said.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.