Police Chief writes to Harry Dunn's family to apologise for communications breakdown

17 December 2019, 12:38 | Updated: 17 December 2019, 15:54

Harry Dunn's family met with the police chief
Harry Dunn's family met with the police chief. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

A Chief Constable has written to the family of teenage motorcyclist Harry Dunn to apologise for a "breakdown" in communications.

Northamptonshire Police Chief Nick Adderley pledged to work "tirelessly" to bring the American suspect in the case back to the UK to face justice.

Harry was killed when his motorbike was involved in a head-on crash with a car outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on August 27.

Anne Sacoolas, the motorist allegedly responsible for the crash, claimed diplomatic immunity and was allowed to return to the US, sparking an international controversy.

Family spokesperson Mr Seiger told reporters Harry's mother "Charlotte has not been able to make the meeting today with the Chief Constable because she is just in bits and pieces."

Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police, Nick Adderley, (right) and Radd Seiger, the family spokesman
Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police, Nick Adderley, (right) and Radd Seiger, the family spokesman. Picture: PA

The 19-year-old's moth Charlotte Charles "collapsed in a heap" after watching footage of 42-year-old Anne Sacoolas reversing out of her driveway in the state of Virginia and did not attend the meeting with Mr Adderley on Tuesday due to being "utterly devastated".

Harry Dunn's stepmother Tracey Dunn, father Tim Dunn and stepfather Bruce Charles, leave Northamptonshire Police HQ, following a meeting with Chief Constable
Harry Dunn's stepmother Tracey Dunn, father Tim Dunn and stepfather Bruce Charles, leave Northamptonshire Police HQ, following a meeting with Chief Constable. Picture: PA

Harry's father Tim Dunn, stepmother Tracey Dunn and stepfather Bruce Charles all sat down with the police chief for talks designed to clear the air, the move comes after the family had called for Mr Adderley to resign over his handling of the case.

Mr Adderley told reporters that any perceived fallout had been a "total misunderstanding" - adding that certain tweets and conversations had been "completely misconstrued".

The Chief Constable said an apology was "all in writing" and was sent through the family spokesman Radd Seiger.

Mr Adderley also said tweets calling for his resignation had been "completely blown out of proportion".

Speaking at the force's HQ, Mr Adderley said: "This morning, it's been really important that we get together, it's been incredible for me to actually sit opposite Tim, Tracey, Bruce and Radd and talk through some of the things that have gone well and have not gone so well involved in Harry's death.

"The really important thing though and what today has really shown is that we can work together, and we are going to work together.

"I do want to make the point though that actually the fallout, or the perceived fallout between me personally and with Radd and the family has been a total misunderstanding.

"Certain tweets and conversations and comments that have been made have been completely misconstrued. We spent some time going through all of that."

Addressing the reasons why there had been a breakdown in communications, Mr Adderley continued: "I need to try and remain impartial and I have to show fairness to a certain point where we have suspects in a case.

"What I can't be seen to be doing is actually stepping out on one side or another - that's not the role of the police, that's not my role as chief constable.

"We then get a situation where what I'm trying to do is protect the process and protect justice.

"I don't know what the CPS are going to say, if they actually say death by dangerous or death by careless, I don't know, but what we have to do is preserve the evidence, go where that takes us, and try and make sure that what we have is an opportunity to see that justice is done.

"So this miscommunication, this breakdown, and I've explained to Radd, and I've written to Radd - it's all in writing in terms of the apology.

"And the same with a tweet that was mentioned, which was calling for resignations, it completely got blown out of proportion."

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