Anne Sacoolas

Anne Sacoolas is an American national who in 2019 chose to drive at speed down the wrong side of a road near a US military base in Northamptonshire, England, killing a 19yo boy, Harry Dunn. At the time of the crash (and possibly still now, idk) she was secretly employed as a US intelligence official. When it happened, the US government asserted “diplomatic immunity” and moved swiftly to spirit her and her husband back to the US. From there, they point-blank refused to extradite her back to the UK to face justice, irritating the UK government. While the US government had long ago agreed that their employees at the Northamptonshire military base didn’t get diplomatic immunity for things they did outside the scope of their duties, the US argued that dependents of base employees were not covered under that agreement, so therefore (outrageously) they did get diplomatic immunity for literally everything, including shit like “driving like a hooligan and killing someone”, when actual employees did not. With the later revelation that Sacoolas was, in fact, a US spy, doubt has been raised over whether she ever actually qualified for diplomatic immunity in the first place, even under the US’s obscene loophole argument.

Eventually the US deigned to allow her to be tried over video-link. Sacoolas was charged with causing death by dangerous driving, but ultimately the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service decided to accept her guilty plea for causing death by careless driving (which carries a maximum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment, but is usually punished with a suspended sentence or community service). Sacoolas was given a suspended sentence of eight months’ imprisonment, so basically nothing. A BBC News article explains that the judge’s options were highly limited, given that she couldn’t enforce a community service order, nor compel Sacoolas to surrender herself for a prison term in the UK. She did also get her drivers’ licence suspended for 12 months… big whoop 🙄

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