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Anne Sacoolas sentenced for death of British motorcyclist Harry Dunn

The family of Harry Dunn feels that justice has been served after Anne Sacoolas was sentenced Thursday for causing his death. File Photo by Andy Rain/EPA-EFE
The family of Harry Dunn feels that justice has been served after Anne Sacoolas was sentenced Thursday for causing his death. File Photo by Andy Rain/EPA-EFE

Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Anne Sacoolas was handed an eight-month suspended prison sentence on Thursday, for causing the death of British motorcyclist Harry Dunn in 2019.

Though Sacoolas will not see jail time, Dunn's mother Charlotte Charles feels justice has been served after more than a three-year wait.

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"I made a promise to Harry in the hospital that we would get him justice, and a mother never breaks a promise to her son," she said, according to The Guardian.

Sacoolas, 45, appeared virtually for her sentencing before Justice Cheema-Grubb King's Bench Division of the High Court of Justice of England and Wales, as advised by the U.S. government. The judge gave her a prison sentence and suspended her from driving for 12 months.

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On Aug. 27, 2019, Sacoolas drove on the wrong side of the road outside a Royal Air Force base in Northamptonshire, England. She collided with 19-year-old Dunn, a Charlton resident who was riding his motorcycle. Dunn died shortly after the collision.

Dunn's mother Charlotte Charles, sought justice for her son for more than three years. On Thursday, she said justice was served.

Sacoolas was initially protected by diplomatic immunity. Her husband is a U.S. intelligence agent who was at RAF Croughton on the day of the accident. She left Britain for the United States 19 days after killing Dunn.

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In October, Sacoolas pleaded guilty to causing the death of Dunn by dangerous driving, again appearing virtually at a courthouse in London from Washington, D.C. She entered a plea deal to a lesser charge of careless driving. A charge of death by dangerous driving carries a five-year prison sentence.

After Thursday's virtual appearance, Dunn's mother said Sacoolas' failure to appear in person was "despicable."

"The time for any contact, for any remorse, is long gone," she said of ever meeting or reconciling with her son's killer.

Britain has requested Sacoolas' extradition throughout the case, and the U.S. government has resisted at each pass. Her attorney Ben Cooper said she played no role in avoiding extradition, nor did she ask for diplomatic immunity. He said those actions were taken by the U.S. government.

Britain's Foreign Secretary James Cleverly described the virtual hearings as "the most viable way to bring the case to court and give justice to Harry's family."

He added that they have learned important lessons from this incident, specifically improvements to the process around exemptions from diplomatic immunity as well as "ensuring the U.S. takes steps to improve road safety around RAF Croughton."

"I want to pay tribute to the incredible resolve of Harry's family and I hope that the judgment provides some closure," he said in a statement.

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