Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Live Reporting

Edited by Chris Giles and Heather Sharp

All times stated are UK

  1. Thank you for joining us

    We're now closing our live coverage of the sentencing of Anne Sacoolas for causing the death of UK teenager Harry Dunn by careless driving.

    For more on this story, visit:

    Today's live page was written by Alys Davies, Emily McGarvey, Adam Durbin and Aoife Walsh, with Dominic Casciani reporting from the Old Bailey. The editors were Chris Giles and Heather Sharp.

  2. What happened in court today?

    The family of Harry Dunn (left to right) mother Charlotte Charles, stepfather Bruce Charles, stepmother Tracey Dunn, father Tim Dunn and family advisor Radd Seiger, arriving at the Old Bailey, London, for the sentencing of Anne Sacoolas over the death of the 19 year old.
    Image caption: The family of Harry Dunn arriving at the Old Bailey earlier today

    We'll be ending our live coverage soon, but here's a recap of events at the Old Bailey this afternoon, where Anne Sacoolas was sentenced over Harry Dunn's death.

    Sacoolas was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for a year, for the death of 19-year-old motorcyclist Harry Dunn, who she hit outside a US military base in Northamptonshire in 2019 while she was driving on the wrong side of the road.

    Judge Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb said the death of Harry Dunn is "the highest degree of harm and Sacoolas's conduct was was not far short of deliberately dangerous driving that results in a death, but said she accepted that Sacoolas felt "genuine remorse".

    Sacoolas attended the sentencing by video-link and the judge said the US administration had said her return to the UK could place US interests at risk.

    Harry Dunn's mother Charlotte Charles read a tearful statement in the witness box, in which she said it was a "privilege and joy" to raise Harry, whose death "haunts me every minute of every day". Later she said her promise to get justice for her son was "well and truly complete".

    Harry Dunn's father, Tim Dunn, said: "It's been such a relentless time, we as a family fought off everything we can to get to this point."

    Sacoolas hasn't spoken in public since the sentencing, but in a statement read out in court on her behalf, said she was “deeply sorry for the pain that I have caused” and said her "tragic mistake led to the loss of Harry, and I live with this regret every single day".

  3. Determination to get justice never waivered - director of public prosecutions

    The CPS's Director of Public Prosecutions Max Hill KC said its determination to get justice for Harry Dunn never wavered.

    In a statement released after the sentencing, Hill said: "Harry Dunn's family has shown immense strength and bravery throughout the long road to get to this point in the proceedings.

    "Having met them, I know that their determination to secure justice has never wavered.

    "Neither has ours," he said.

    "Many thought we'd never get to this point - but I hope it sends a clear message that we are steadfast in our commitment to bring people to justice."

  4. High emotions during moment of truth-telling in court

    Dominic Casciani

    Legal Correspondent

    The family of Harry Dunn (left to right)mother Charlotte Charles, stepfather Bruce Charles, family advisor Radd Seiger, father Tim Dunn, stepmother Tracey Dunn, outside the Old Bailey

    Court One of the Old Bailey has witnessed some of the most important criminal trials in English history - but rarely has it experienced such a wave of emotion as when Harry Dunn's mother found the courage to speak.

    Watched on by family and supporters wearing lime green scarves and ties in his memory, she spoke directly to Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb about her enduring pain.

    It's in these moments that those in court look into the whites of the eyes of a defendant, sitting in the dock, wondering what they are feeling.

    Anne Sacoolas's team made clear she is also full of pain and remorse - and she herself wiped away tears as Charles spoke. But the American is not in the hands of the court. She was not in the dock.

    And so her demeanour could not be closely inspected by the judge.

    When the sentence came, Sacoolas calmly stood - but she also stood knowing that it was largely symbolic - unenforceable providing she does not return to the UK and commit a crime or drive a car.

    As for Harry Dunn's family? The emotion and years of utter frustration had come out in Mrs Charles's deeply moving words. They appeared relieved.

    And so today was a a moment of truth-telling. But whether it amounts to justice, in its widest possible sense, is perhaps an open question.

  5. Court drawings show Anne Sacoolas during sentencing

    Court drawing of Anne Sacoolas (right) appearing via videolink at the Old Bailey with her US lawyer Amy Jeffress (left), 08/12/2022
    Image caption: Anne Sacoolas (right) appeared via videolink at the court with her US lawyer Amy Jeffress (left)
    Court drawing of Anne Sacoolas appearing via videolink at the Old Bailey, 08/12/2022
    Image caption: A court drawing of Anne Sacoolas appearing via video-link at the Old Bailey in London

    As we've reported, Anne Sacoolas was granted a request to attend her sentencing via video link from Washington DC instead of appearing before the court in person, in London.

    An Old Bailey spokesman said her application included evidence that Sacoolas' government employer had "advised her not to attend in person".

    A court illustrator who was present at the Old Bailey for the sentencing today has drawn how Sacoolas and her US lawyer, Amy Jeffress, appeared on the screen in the courtroom.

  6. 'This case involved compromises from start to finish'

    Nick Vamos, former head of extradition for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), who has advised Harry Dunn's family, has given his response to today's sentencing.

    In a statement, he said: “While on the surface it may seem unsatisfactory that Mrs Sacoolas won’t actually perform any penalty, this was the only way that the court was ever going to find a final solution to this case today."

    He said the case "involved a series of compromises from start to finish and has required ingenuity and flexibility from both the court and CPS" and so it is "no surprise that the sentence followed in the same vein".

    Vamos, who is now in private practice with the firm Peters and Peters, says it's clear the US government did intervene to block Anne Sacoolas from returning to the UK.

    This left the judge "little choice but to hand down a sentence that didn’t require any further enforcement", he said.

    He said a custodial sentence would have been "entirely unenforceable" and a community penalty would have been effectively voluntary.

    Vamos said the court had "sought to draw a line under this case using the only viable option available to it".

    He paid tribute to the "quiet persistence of the family to see justice finally done today".

  7. Sacoolas refuses to answer UK reporter's questions

    Anne Sacoolas has refused to answer questions after being pressed on her decision not to attend a court in the UK.

    A reporter from Sky News filmed Sacoolas in a building in Washington DC where she appeared by video link from the US capital for her sentencing.

    Flanked by her legal team and wearing a face mask and cap , Sacoolas does not answer any questions or make any further statement.

    "Have a nice day," are the only words heard (from someone with them not in shot), as they walk away from the reporter.

    One of the people with her then attempts to avoid them being filmed by unsuccessfully blocking the camera with a manila folder.

    The group then enters a lift to escape, with someone accompanying Sacoolas telling the reporter "you are not getting in" as the doors close on them.

  8. Police praise family for shining a light on Harry Dunn case

    Northamptonshire Police praised Harry Dunn's family for "shining a light" on the case in their quest for justice.

    The force, which investigated his death in 2019, said in a statement they had been "determined to deliver a judicial outcome for Harry's family."

    "While their tragic loss will always be felt, we hope they now feel justice has been delivered and they can begin to move forward with their lives," the statement added.

  9. Dunn family calls for parliamentary inquiry

    Radd Sieger, the Dunn family's spokesman, says they want a parliamentary inquiry.

    He says the family wants to work with the Foreign Office to prevent another family going through what the Dunn's have.

    "These parents are heroes. They have to cope without their son every day, but they are thinking about the next family down the road and they're dedicating their lives to that project," he says.

    Sieger says Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has requested to meet with the Dunn family.

    He says the family will be having extensive discussions with the Foreign Office, but it has to be "open and transparent".

  10. 'I couldn't get to him in time to tell him I love him'

    Harry Dunn's mother Charlotte Charles has been speaking about her last moments with him.

    She recalled how she didn't get a chance to say goodbye to Harry because he was too injured by the time she reached the hospital.

    "I couldn't comfort him at all. I couldn't let him know that I was there. So for me, the next best thing was to kiss that bruised lip of his and just let him know that I would fight for justice," she told Sky News.

    She added: "That's been my driver because I just couldn't get to him in time to tell him I loved him."

    She said Harry's passing has had a "massive" impact on the family.

    "Harry should be here, we're having to live without him. And the day-to-day physical and mental impact that has had is just beyond horrific," she says.

    The Dunn family are no longer interested in meeting Anne Sacoolas, she said.

    "The time for any contact, for any remorse, is long gone," she said.

  11. 'It's broken us,' says Harry's mum Charlotte

    Charlotte Charles the mother of Harry Dunn outside the Old Bailey, London

    More now from Harry's mother Charlotte, who was asked by reporters outside the court, what this has done to them as a family? "It's broken us," she says.

    "Everything I said in that [impact] statement is 100% true, and some. You can never put into words how bad things are but you have to keep going, you can't give up.

    "We have to show Niall and the other children that we can live our lives somehow. We've got to try and figure out how we do that.

    "We've all got therapy in place and we're hoping, with an awful lot of help around us, including our family and friends, that we'll get there."

    She says their family and friends have been extremely affected as well.

  12. Sacoolas' statement to the court in full

    Quote Message: I want to again extend my sincerest condolences to Harry Dunn’s family and friends. My tragic mistake led to the loss of Harry, and I live with this regret every single day. There is not a day that goes by that Harry isn’t on my mind, and I am deeply sorry for the pain that I have caused. It’s for this reason that I have been so committed to a resolution to this case since 2019.
    Quote Message: I know there is nothing I can say to change what has happened. I only hope that the truth and a resolution to this case will bring a measure of comfort and peace. As always, I remain willing to meet and apologize to Harry’s family directly if that would support their healing.
    Quote Message: Harry was a young man with his whole life ahead of him. I cannot imagine the loss, and I too deeply grieve for Harry and his family. I am grateful that I could express my profound remorse to the court and to Harry’s friends and family. August 27, 2019 changed the lives of so many, and I pray for healing." from Anne Sacoolas
    Anne Sacoolas
  13. Sacoolas meeting offer 'too little, too late'

    Asked if she was happy with the sentence, Harry's mother Charlotte Charles says the family would have been pleased with anything.

    "We've never been invested in what the judge was going to hand down, for us it was all about doing the right thing, getting through the UK justice system."

    In a follow up question about whether Sacoolas' offer to meet them would help, Charles says it's "too little too late I think isn't it? Job's done now."

    The family's spokesman, Radd Seiger, adds his view that "that ship's sailed".

    "When you have the chance to do the right thing, you do it at the beginning. You don't wait three years and put a family through torture and then try to do the right thing when it's going to make you look good," he says.

    Seiger adds he reached out with an "olive branch to them many times, it's never once been accepted".

    "She will have to live with what she's done and the way they have treated this family for the rest of their lives.

    "We have to live without Harry, but our conscience is clear."

  14. Sacoolas and US government behaviour despicable - Charlotte Charles

    Harry Dunn's mother, Charlotte Charles, says Anne Sacoolas' failure to attend the sentencing in person is "despicable".

    "She should have been there, you know, we would have been," she says standing outside court.

    "I think it's despicable that she didn't come over on the judge's orders."

    "We didn't back down, because we have values. Maybe she doesn't," she says of Sacoolas.

    She goes on to describe the US government as "despicable," adding that she's "absolutely disgusted" by their behaviour.

  15. 'Harry, we done it. We're good,' says mum

    Harry's mother, Charlotte Charles (centre left) speaks to reporters outside the Old Bailey

    Harry's mother, Charlotte Charles, is answering questions from the media outside court now.

    She says: "Job done, promise complete, properly complete now.

    "Anne Sacoolas has a criminal record for the rest of her life.

    "That was something she never thought she'd see, something the US government never thought they'd see."

    She says the family has worked tirelessly and relentlessly to ensure, in the end, Sacoolas had to do "what you and I would have done".

    "Harry we done it. We're good, we're good."

  16. 'US treated Dunn family with utter disdain', Harry's friend says

    Issac, Harry Dunn's friend speaks outside the court

    Harry Dunn's childhood friend, Isaac, is speaking now.

    He says Harry was a great and very caring person who "was taken too soon".

    He says the US has treated the Dunn family with "utter disdain".

    The Dunn family was only interested in hearing an apology and explanation as to what happened, he tells reporters.

    Charlotte - Harry's mother - never wanted to take Sacoolas away from her children.

    "A message to the US government from the younger generation is: you're not our friend, this is not how allies treat one another," he says.

    This is not an isolated incident, he says, and claims the US "are treating many families like this around the world".

  17. Dunn family spokesman: Sentence as we expected

    Radd Seiger, the Dunn family's spokesman, has said the sentence was "pretty much as we expected".

    He says Sacoolas was trying to persuade the court she could do community service in the US, adding "but that's not how we do things" after someone has died in criminal circumstances.

    Our real enemy is not Mrs Sacoolas," he says - adding that it is the US government, who have "kicked the Dunn family in the stomach and continue to kick them in the stomach".

  18. Important lessons learned from tragic incident - UK foreign secretary

    British Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly

    British Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, has paid tribute to the "incredible resolve" of Harry Dunn's family following Anne Sacoolas's sentencing.

    “Anne Sacoolas has finally been sentenced in a British court," Cleverly said in a statement.

    “Since Harry's death in August 2019 we have been clear that Ms Sacoolas should return to the UK to face British justice.

    “Since she chose not to, virtual hearings were arranged as the most viable way to bring the case to Court and give justice to Harry's family."

    Cleverly said he hopes the judgment provides some closure to Harry's family.

    Quote Message: We have learnt important lessons from this tragic incident, including improvements to the process around exemptions from diplomatic immunity and ensuring the US takes steps to improve road safety around RAF Croughton.”
  19. What is a suspended sentence?

    When someone who is guilty of a crime, they can be be given a suspended prison sentence, as is the case with Anne Sacoolas. But what does this punishment mean in practice?

    For Crown Court cases, any prison time between 14 days and two years can be deferred by the judge for up to two years.

    This means that the person convicted of a crime is not immediately sent to prison, instead they avoid time behind bars - so long as they don't commit another crime and follow the instructions of the court.

    According to the Sentencing Council, these requirements set could include:

    • taking out unpaid work
    • adhering to a curfew
    • undertaking a treatment programme for alcohol or drugs, and
    • carrying out a "rehabilitation activity requirement"

    if they fail to do so or are convicted of a different crime for the period of the suspended sentence, they are likely to be made to serve their original sentence and any further jail time (in the case of a second offence).

  20. WATCH: Moment Anne Sacoolas sentenced for Harry Dunn death

    Anne Sacoolas has been sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for 12 months, for the death of motorcyclist Harry Dunn in 2019.

    The US citizen appeared via video link from Washington after pleading guilty earlier in the year.

    Video content

    Video caption: Moment Anne Sacoolas sentenced for Harry Dunn death