08 December 2022

Harry Dunn’s mother tells court son’s death ‘haunts me every minute of every day’

08 December 2022

Harry Dunn’s mother broke down as she told a court her son’s death “haunts me every minute of every day”.

Charlotte Charles gave a victim impact statement during the sentencing hearing of Anne Sacoolas at the Old Bailey on Thursday.

Speaking about how her son’s death had affected her, Mrs Charles told the court: “My world turned upside down on August 27 2019.

“My beautiful son Harry, twin brother of Niall, is gone and is never coming back.

“For 19 years, I had the enormous privilege and joy of nurturing and raising Harry who was the light of my life before he was so senselessly and cruelly taken from us.

“Harry just disappeared out of my life that night, shattering my existence forever.

“I didn’t make it to the hospital in time before he passed and the thought of that haunts me to my core.

“I beat myself up over and over again – if I had left work on time that night, I would have been able to delay him leaving the house so that he wouldn’t have been travelling along the same road as Anne Sacoolas.

“Although I have my other beautiful son Niall with me and the rest of my family, there is an intense feeling of emptiness in the pit of my stomach without my cheerful Harry around.

“His passing haunts me every minute of every day and I’m not sure how I’m ever going to get over it.”

Addressing how she tried to cope with her son’s death, Mrs Charles said: “I have started counselling but the psychological damage that’s been caused is almost impossible to describe.

“Tears flow constantly and my mood ranges from anger to solemn all the time.

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

“I have been shaken to the point of breaking and the only thing that keeps me going every day is looking after Niall and Harry’s other siblings and ensuring that we get justice for Harry.

“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.

“Although I have somehow managed to find the strength to front Harry’s campaign, off camera people don’t see the real me.

“Harry’s death has left me feeling vulnerable and scared to face my life without him.”

Mrs Charles continued: “There isn’t a single part of me that has not been affected by the loss of Harry. I’m panicky, angry, shaky, tearful.

“Sleep is difficult. Waking up is worse.

“The thought of Harry suffering before he died and his passing itself is always there and always will be.

“I just want to wrap my arms around him, cuddle him, love him, talk to him and I can’t any more.”

Paying tribute to her son, Mrs Charles said: “The bond between a mother and her children is a special one.

“My bond has been torn apart and although he is not here with me physically I hope one day to be able to rebuild the bond between he and I.

“He was one in a million and his smile and laughter were infectious.

“As a family we are determined that his death will not have been in vain and we are involved in a number of projects to try to find some silver lining in this tragedy and to help others. That will be Harry’s legacy.

“He was always looking after others and we will carry on his work in his absence.

“I am a broken woman and only hope that one day I will be able to start looking forward to things again with Harry on my shoulder whispering in my ear that he loves me and me doing the same for him.”

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