Here's the best of today's news reports on the Harry Dunn trial, US citizen Anne Sacoolas urged to prove ‘genuine remorse’ over Harry Dunn death, in which the judge urged the defendant to return to the UK for sentencing about one month from now as a display of remorse, with the implication that she will calibrate the sentence in accordance with the requisite remorse.
Adjourning sentencing until next month, Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb told Sacoolas that although she could not compel her to face justice in person, it would provide “weighty evidence” of “genuine remorse”.
Speaking outside court, Mr Dunn’s mother Charlotte Charles said that “of course” she wants Sacoolas to return to the UK to be sentenced.
Mrs Charles told the PA news agency: “I do very much hope that she listens to the judge’s words and makes the effort to come back because that will truly show us all how remorseful she is.Of course, the judge also acknowledged that she has no power to compel a return, or anything else, frankly, since the U.S. will not extradite someone with diplomatic immunity.
What will the judge do, you may wonder, if the defendant remains outside the UK on sentencing day? Impose a longer suspended sentence? Because that's just the kind of futile gesture she has available to her.
As for the prosecutor, he'd made peace with his surrender on the Crown Prosecution Service's preferred charge of dangerous driving, and noted that the defendant's plea to a lesser offense had been negotiated with both the family and his higher-ups.
“The plea that has been entered was one indicated at magistrates’ court and indicated indeed before that as being offered by the defendant.
“It has been considered at the very highest level and with the very greatest care and with close consultation with Harry’s family.”
We'll see if that close consultation survives when the defendant does not return.