(NewsGlobal.com)- Anne Sacoolas, the wife of a US diplomat stationed in Great Britain, received a suspended sentence last week for causing the death of UK teenager Harry Dunn in a fatal traffic collision in August 2019.
In October, Sacoolas pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving, a conviction that is punishable by up to five years in prison. She admitted to driving on the wrong side of the road when she struck the 19-year-old motorcyclist outside of a US military base in England where her husband worked.
During the sentencing hearing last Thursday, the High Court in London heard some of the details of the moments before and after the crash.
The prosecutor said Sacoolas drove for 26 seconds on the wrong side of the road after leaving the airbase when she collided with Dunn’s motorcycle. Dunn was “thrown onto the front” of Sacoolas’ car and his motorcycle caught fire.
According to the prosecutor, when first responders arrived at the scene, the gravely injured Dunn begged them not to let him die.
Despite High Court judge Mrs. Justice Cheema-Grubb appealing to Sacoolas to return to the UK for sentencing, Sacoolas was not present in the court on Thursday, appearing instead via a video link.
Justice Cheema-Grubb said that she was told by Sacoolas’ employer in the US government that her appearance in person would place “significant US interest at risk.”
Harry Dunn’s mother Charlotte Charles, who spent the last three years campaigning for justice for her son, told the court that she thought it was “despicable” that Sacoolas did not have to attend the hearing in person.
Since her husband is a US diplomat, Sacoolas had diplomatic immunity claimed on her behalf and was permitted to leave the UK just weeks after the 2019 accident. The UK’s attempt to extradite Sacoolas to face charges for the crash was declined by US authorities, sparking tension between the two countries.