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Old 7th October 2019, 12:08 AM   #41
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It appears the tabloids have been unleashed (the British equivalent of the Euripides' Erinyes). The woman driving the car has benn named as Anne Sacoolas.

Looking at similar cases as mentioned above non-custodial sentences usually result in this situation so even if she had not had diplomatic immunity it would have been unpleasant but not life ruining. (Unless there was some other issue like using a mobile phone or being drunk in which case prison would likely result). Perhaps she would have been best advised to maintain her diplomatic immunity but fully co-operate with the investigation (e.g. being a witness in the coroner's inquiry) and not running away which makes it look like she has something to hide rather than it being a terrible accident.
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Old 7th October 2019, 12:14 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
I guess most of that is only pertinent if the driver was newly-arrived in the country, but even then, the fact that the UK drives on the left is hardly something they can have been unaware or not been reminded of.
Actually it is quite easy to do.

As an Australian that lived in London for 14 years, I learned to drive and spent the majority of my driving time on the left hand side of the road.

Once, on my return to the UK from a 3 week driving holiday in France, I drove counterclockwise around a 3-lane roundabout to the consternation of a number of British drivers, traversing it in the correct, clockwise, manner.

I was surprised by the polite manner in which they pointed out my error.
There would have been a great many more Anglo-Saxon words directed my way in Australia.

Especially during the 3-point turn conducted at a set of lights halfway ‘round the roundabout, to reorient the car’s direction of travel to that of my fellow road users.

So, even a driver who has spent the majority of their years driving on the correct side of the road can very simply make this error.
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Old 7th October 2019, 01:29 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
She fled to the US, can't we charge her here and/or honor a UK extradition?
Probably not and yes, if an extradition request is made.

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
This is odd because it is a US citizen with diplomatic immunity in the.
The person does not have diplomatic status in the US but in the UK where her spouse was a member of a mission. It's generally impossible to have diplomatic status in a country of which you're a citizen

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I see no reason the US shouldn't prosecute and wave diplomatic immunity. It would set a decent example for cases where we object to foreign diplomats claiming diplomatic immunity after serious crimes like this.
Well yes but general US policy is to ignore such niceties for their diplomats.
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Old 7th October 2019, 01:36 AM   #44
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It is not a simple error, it is gross carelessness. I get making an error at a junction or round a bout, but that error should be realised pretty much instantly to a driver who is paying full attention.

I have pointed out the numerous road signs, both at the side of the road and on the road that indicate the correct side to drive on.

She was apparently driving a Volvo XC90 and I would guess that is a UK vehicle, so she was in a right hand drive vehicle driving on the left. That is another massive clue she is on the wrong side of the road.

Sacoolas also has previous for not paying attention;

https://heavy.com/news/2019/10/anne-sacoolas/

"In 2006, Sacoolas was cited in Fairfax County, Virginia, for failure to pay full time and attention, a traffic ticket. She does not appear to have any other offenses on her record. She paid a fine on that infraction in 2007."

She clearly does not pay attention when she drives. She should be sent back to the UK where the standard punishment is a ban and fine. It is rare someone gets prison time for Sec 1 of the RTA.
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Old 7th October 2019, 04:15 AM   #45
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The PM has now added his weight to demands diplomatic immunity is waved;

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/n...rash-qz5b6whfg

"Boris Johnson has said the US should not give immunity to a diplomat’s wife who fled Britain under suspicion of having been involved in a fatal crash."
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Old 7th October 2019, 04:34 AM   #46
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What would someone under a similar fact pattern face in the UK for causing a fatal accident?

There is no indication of intoxication, just driver carelessness that resulted in a death. It's not unusual in the states for killer drivers to get off with a fairly routine traffic ticket after causing a death.

This isn't a personal endorsement of such light punishment, but just pointing out the driving errors, even egregious ones, are often treated as fairly light criminal matters in the US. Someone that kills a motorcyclist could easily walk away with a traffic ticket that only imposes a small fine and a few points on their license.

Would fleeing the country compound her legal problems, assuming diplomatic immunity is waived?
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Old 7th October 2019, 04:50 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
What would someone under a similar fact pattern face in the UK for causing a fatal accident?

There is no indication of intoxication, just driver carelessness that resulted in a death. It's not unusual in the states for killer drivers to get off with a fairly routine traffic ticket after causing a death, at least the in US.

This isn't a personal endorsement of such light punishment, but just pointing out the driving errors, even egregious ones, are often treated as fairly light criminal matters in the US.

Would fleeing the country compound her legal problems, assuming diplomatic immunity is waived?
Probably depends at the point in time it was waived.
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Old 7th October 2019, 05:04 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
What would someone under a similar fact pattern face in the UK for causing a fatal accident?

There is no indication of intoxication, just driver carelessness that resulted in a death. It's not unusual in the states for killer drivers to get off with a fairly routine traffic ticket after causing a death, at least the in US.

This isn't a personal endorsement of such light punishment, but just pointing out the driving errors, even egregious ones, are often treated as fairly light criminal matters in the US.

Would fleeing the country compound her legal problems, assuming diplomatic immunity is waived?
That would depend on the charge, if any. Justbecause a death has occurred doesn't mean a charge will follow.

The most appropriate charge would probably be causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving. The sentencing guidelines are here: https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk...erate-driving/

As you can see, the starting point is a community punishment.

Fleeing the country won't compound the offence as she is legally free to do so because of her diplomatic immunity. She did talk to the police initially, though this wasn't a formal interview.

I do not believe that diplomatic immunity was ever intended for the family members of diplomats to be able to evade consequences of crimes which are in no way related to the job or function of the diplomat.

There is certainly precedent for waiving immunity; a Chilean embassy worker had his immunity removed when he was accused of murder in the UK, and he was tried and acquitted.

Is Chile a more honourable country than the USA?
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Old 7th October 2019, 05:14 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
What would someone under a similar fact pattern face in the UK for causing a fatal accident?

There is no indication of intoxication, just driver carelessness that resulted in a death. It's not unusual in the states for killer drivers to get off with a fairly routine traffic ticket after causing a death.

This isn't a personal endorsement of such light punishment, but just pointing out the driving errors, even egregious ones, are often treated as fairly light criminal matters in the US. Someone that kills a motorcyclist could easily walk away with a traffic ticket that only imposes a small fine and a few points on their license.

Would fleeing the country compound her legal problems, assuming diplomatic immunity is waived?
There was an incident where a male was convicted of murder regarding a crash in a speedboat. He fled to Georgia (the country) and on his return, his punishment was increased.

I think there is a good chance of conviction in this case for death by dangerous driving, as driving on the wrong side of the road is dangerous and that is all that is needed to be proved.

The likely punishment for a UK citizen would be a fine and ban, prison is rare in these cases.
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Old 7th October 2019, 05:22 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
There was an incident where a male was convicted of murder regarding a crash in a speedboat. He fled to Georgia (the country) and on his return, his punishment was increased.

I think there is a good chance of conviction in this case for death by dangerous driving, as driving on the wrong side of the road is dangerous and that is all that is needed to be proved.

The likely punishment for a UK citizen would be a fine and ban, prison is rare in these cases.
Sure, in the states we have vehicular manslaughter, which is similar. My point is that most fatal car accidents can probably be attributed to preventable driver error, yet manslaughter is only pursued in the most egregious cases. The motorcycling community here is full of stories of riders being killed by careless drivers that often walk away with a "failure to yield" ticket or nothing at all. Prosecutorial discretion is where many of these cases end, so a strict reading of the law is not often that instructive.

Driving on the wrong side of the road would strike me as an especially egregious driver error, so maybe punishment will be more severe.
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Old 7th October 2019, 05:35 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Sure, in the states we have vehicular manslaughter, which is similar. My point is that most fatal car accidents can probably be attributed to preventable driver error, yet manslaughter is only pursued in the most egregious cases. The motorcycling community here is full of stories of riders being killed by careless drivers that often walk away with a "failure to yield" ticket or nothing at all. Prosecutorial discretion is where many of these cases end, so a strict reading of the law is not often that instructive.

Driving on the wrong side of the road would strike me as an especially egregious driver error, so maybe punishment will be more severe.
The sentencing guidelines mean that the punishment should be increased due to the vulnerability of the motor biker and reduced due to the lack of driving experience. There are other potential mitigating factors.

I have little doubt that if she was prosecuted, she would be banned and fined but not imprisoned or given a community service order.
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Old 7th October 2019, 05:37 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
I think that there is a very good case for causing death by dangerous driving.

Going by street view, turning left out of RAF Croughton, the first indication that the driver is on the wrong side of the road is a warning sign for heavy plant crossing, which is on the left side of the road. That should cause an observant driver to think why is that sign not on my side of the road?

A few hundred yards further on, at a junction for a recycling centre, there is a SLOW marking on the road, which to a driver on the wrong side would be upside down. A few yards further on and there is an arrow on the road pointing to the left, another clear indicator as to what side of the road a driver should be on.

Another few hundred yards and there is a road sign that to the driver is facing the opposite way.

At the junction to Park End Barn, there is a SLOW and two centre line arrows that again, to a driver on the wrong side of the road, indicates the direction of travel should be in the left lane, not the right.

Next there is a mini round a bout, the give way and arrow markings making it clear what side of the road is the correct direction of travel. That is at Park End, which from the press release is where the accident took place.

All of that means there were numerous clear indications as to what is the correct side of the road to drive on and for any driver to miss all of those signs and markings easily makes this a Sec 1 RTA1988

"A person who causes the death of another person by driving a mechanically propelled vehicle dangerously on a road or other public place is guilty of an offence."
That's changed my view. The brief version I'd heard made me think she had just set off, but to drive past multiple cues without registering that anything was wrong indicates a pretty clear lack of care and attention.

Setting off on the wrong side of the road when abroad is something I've done myself, in a rental car in rural California. Neither I nor my passenger realised until we got our first visual cue that something was wrong, in our case a distant oncoming car. I know from a friend that it's a common cause of accidents in the North of Scotland where again you can drive some way before you see any indication that you've gone wrong.

So I was ready to put this down as just an accident; it sucks but there was nothing to be gained from staying in the UK and I guess she was advised to go home. But now I'm more persuaded that she bears a lot of responsibility for causing this accident.
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Old 7th October 2019, 06:41 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
That's changed my view. The brief version I'd heard made me think she had just set off, but to drive past multiple cues without registering that anything was wrong indicates a pretty clear lack of care and attention.

Setting off on the wrong side of the road when abroad is something I've done myself, in a rental car in rural California. Neither I nor my passenger realised until we got our first visual cue that something was wrong, in our case a distant oncoming car. I know from a friend that it's a common cause of accidents in the North of Scotland where again you can drive some way before you see any indication that you've gone wrong.

So I was ready to put this down as just an accident; it sucks but there was nothing to be gained from staying in the UK and I guess she was advised to go home. But now I'm more persuaded that she bears a lot of responsibility for causing this accident.
I have a better location for the actual collision, based on where the flowers have been laid. It is just before the entrance to Park End Barn, so she drove passed a sign on the opposite side of the road to her, a sign that she would she the back of, an upside down SLOW warning and a centre return to the left arrow and then another sign she would see the back of.

You are right about the Highlands, you can drive for miles with no signs or road markings, that was very much not the case here.

Plus, with your rental car, it is left hand drive, which must help show what side of the road you should be on. She appears to have been in a right hand drive car, so would it not be rather odd being nearest to the verge? I have never driven abroad.
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Old 7th October 2019, 06:59 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
Is the wife of a diplomat covered by diplomatic immunity? I'll be honest it isn't a question that's ever occurred to me before.
Sure, why would locking up the family of diplomats on spurious charges be fine while diplomats themselves are protected? You have to look at the rational behind the law.

Though I will be pissed at my government if they do not wave diplomatic immunity in this case.
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Old 7th October 2019, 07:02 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
If her name hasn't been leaked yet by justifiably pissed off local LEOs, it could be because her "diplomat" husband is some kind of spook.
Or she is, see Valerie Plame.
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Old 7th October 2019, 07:12 AM   #56
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Well, given that I did set off in the left lane in a left hand drive car, I'm forced to say it didn't feel odd enough to make me notice what I'd done wrong.

Having driven in left hand drive countries in both left and right hand drive cars my experience is that at first you really have to concentrate and consequently you don't make mistakes, but after a few days you become acclimatised and let your subconscious take over. That's when you catch yourself approaching a roundabout and suddenly thinking "wait - which way do I go round here?".

This actually makes it worse coming home as you very quickly relax back into the routine of letting your subconscious do the task but then discover there are a lot of newly acquired habits you have to unlearn one by one.
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Old 7th October 2019, 07:13 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
There was an incident where a male was convicted of murder regarding a crash in a speedboat. He fled to Georgia (the country) and on his return, his punishment was increased.
Sure but rather a different situation, such as after a conviction.
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Old 7th October 2019, 07:16 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by EHocking View Post
Actually it is quite easy to do.

As an Australian that lived in London for 14 years, I learned to drive and spent the majority of my driving time on the left hand side of the road.

Once, on my return to the UK from a 3 week driving holiday in France, I drove counterclockwise around a 3-lane roundabout to the consternation of a number of British drivers, traversing it in the correct, clockwise, manner.

I was surprised by the polite manner in which they pointed out my error.
There would have been a great many more Anglo-Saxon words directed my way in Australia.

Especially during the 3-point turn conducted at a set of lights halfway ‘round the roundabout, to reorient the car’s direction of travel to that of my fellow road users.

So, even a driver who has spent the majority of their years driving on the correct side of the road can very simply make this error.

I'll second this, with a caveat. The first time I drove in America I found myself going through a junction under the Houston ring road on the wrong side of the road (if the gentleman who waited to let me out so I could continue more correctly is out there. Thank you! Thank you!). Inexperienced and newly arrived drivers can be a real hazard around junctions, as I was very aware as a motorcycle courier who worked a lot around Heathrow.I

My caveat would be that it appears this wasn't a momentary confusion at a junction but the driver should have been well aware of what side of the road they should have been on.
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Old 7th October 2019, 07:16 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Sure, why would locking up the family of diplomats on spurious charges be fine while diplomats themselves are protected? You have to look at the rational behind the law.
Yeah, immunity covers both diplomats and their immediate family, not because anyone wants them to get away with wrongdoing, but to stop their being grabbed and used as leverage by an unscrupulous host country.
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Old 7th October 2019, 07:22 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
It is staggering that diplomatic immunity cannot be claimed when diplomats failed to pay their cleaners the minimum wage;

https://lawofnationsblog.com/2017/12...oyment-claims/

but it can be claimed after a fatal road accident.
Nope they are entirely different situations, and it isn't something that needs to be claimed, it is something that the country of origin would have to wave. And the ones cited there are tort law not criminal law. Really nothing relevant to this case.
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Old 7th October 2019, 07:24 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Matthew Best View Post
Thanks for that.

I'm guessing if Libyan assassins can get away with actually shooting and killing a policeman from the window of their Embassy without any comeback, then this lady can get away with hitting someone with her car, but I'll be glad to be proved wrong.
I think the legal situation there would be throwing them all out of the country then declaring war.
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Old 7th October 2019, 08:08 AM   #62
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The police report had her cooperating with the police. I would guess she did that because initially it may be put down to an accident. But once the investigation was complete and there is definitely sufficient evidence to report her, that is when she appears to have been advised to return to the US.

Fatal road accidents are investigated very quickly as the road has to be closed during the investigation and it obviously needs reopening asap. This accident is straightforward with a lot of evidence to show she was on the wrong side of the road and that was the cause, no fault on the biker.
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Old 7th October 2019, 06:06 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by EHocking View Post
Actually it is quite easy to do.

As an Australian that lived in London for 14 years, I learned to drive and spent the majority of my driving time on the left hand side of the road.

Once, on my return to the UK from a 3 week driving holiday in France, I drove counterclockwise around a 3-lane roundabout to the consternation of a number of British drivers, traversing it in the correct, clockwise, manner.

I was surprised by the polite manner in which they pointed out my error.
There would have been a great many more Anglo-Saxon words directed my way in Australia.

Especially during the 3-point turn conducted at a set of lights halfway ‘round the roundabout, to reorient the car’s direction of travel to that of my fellow road users.

So, even a driver who has spent the majority of their years driving on the correct side of the road can very simply make this error.
My experience with this is that you don't tend to make any mistakes in the first few days of driving on the "other" side of the road because you tend to be paying close attention to driving on the correct side. Its when you start to become comfortable with it, that the mistakes happen.

On my third day of driving in Switzerland, I was driving along the N1 on a Sunday morning between Geneva and Lausanne. There was very little traffic, and I was driving (correctly) in the rightmost of the two lanes (the slow lane). Then, in my rear vision mirror I see a car catching me really quickly; as he approached, I instinctively pulled over to the left to let him by, thereby moving into his lane in front of him.... Ooops!
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Old 8th October 2019, 01:51 AM   #64
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The airbase junction is a simple left or right. On leaving the guardhouse the road is marked into two lanes, one left one right. The main road is two lanes, one in either direction.

I am sure the first time driving you would pay particular attention and ensure you went onto the correct side of the road, but after that you should remember what side of the road to go on.

If it was the first time she had driven out of the base, she failed to pay close attention and concentrate. If she had already driven, she failed to remember what side to drive on. Either way, that failure resulted in dangerous driving.

The various anecdotes of driving on the wrong side are also examples of dangerous driving.

Road traffic law was simplified a few years back, so that intention was removed and the actual act of driving determines if the law has been broken. You may not intend to drive on the wrong side of the road, but that is not the issue. That driving on the wrong side of the road is dangerous to other road users, is enough to convict.
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Old 9th October 2019, 10:35 AM   #65
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According to James O'Brien on LBC she wasn't on the diplomatic list prior to the accident and she left the country with her family on a flight from a US military base (Mildenhall?) before the motorcyclist died. The family haven't returned to their home near Langley.
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Old 10th October 2019, 01:02 AM   #66
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It's all all right, President Trump is going to speak to her:

Quote:
US President Donald Trump has said he will speak to a woman at the centre of a row over diplomatic immunity who is suspected of being involved in a car crash that killed a British teenager.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-englan...shire-49995867

The President was at his eloquent best

Originally Posted by President Trump
Speaking after his conversation with the prime minister on Wednesday evening, Mr Trump said: "The woman was driving on the wrong side of the road, and that can happen.

"You know, those are the opposite roads, that happens. I won't say it ever happened to me, but it did."
What does that even mean

Originally Posted by President Trump
"So a young man was killed, the person that was driving the automobile has diplomatic immunity, we're going to speak to her very shortly and see if we can do something where they meet."
Well that's all right then, a family's recourse for the death of their son is an assurance from a known liar that maybe *something* might be done
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Old 10th October 2019, 03:36 AM   #67
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https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-englan...shire-49995867

"A woman at the centre of a row over diplomatic immunity will not return to the UK, according to briefing notes held by US President Donald Trump.
Anne Sacoolas is suspected of being involved in a car crash that killed British motorcyclist Harry Dunn, who died in Northamptonshire on 27 August.
Mrs Sacoolas later left the UK to return home to the US, after telling local police she had no such plans.
The note was photographed as Mr Trump addressed reporters at the White House."

This is a disgusting misuse of diplomatic immunity, Sacoolas is scum and Trump is a dirty little liar.
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Old 10th October 2019, 04:44 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Why is it irrelevant?
In the same way "as a Christian", "As a professional Assassin", it's irrelevant, all should equal under the law. We muricans arent that big on those powered wigs over there either..
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Old 10th October 2019, 04:47 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Why is it irrelevant?
It isn't. There's an argument that perhaps it should be, but public opinion is shaped by emotion far more than facts.

I agree that it should be irrelevant. I don't think it is.
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Old 10th October 2019, 05:03 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by rockysmith76 View Post
In the same way "as a Christian", "As a professional Assassin", it's irrelevant, all should equal under the law. We muricans arent that big on those powered wigs over there either..
You're clearly not very big on empathy, either.
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Old 10th October 2019, 05:05 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by rockysmith76 View Post
In the same way "as a Christian", "As a professional Assassin", it's irrelevant, all should equal under the law. We muricans arent that big on those powered wigs over there either..
What has the law got to do with the relevance of the mother of the dead person's comments?
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Old 10th October 2019, 05:09 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
What has the law got to do with the relevance of the mother of the dead person's comments?
It doesn't, perhaps I misread your meaning.
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Old 10th October 2019, 05:42 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
What has the law got to do with the relevance of the mother of the dead person's comments?
Not comments. Request.
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Old 10th October 2019, 05:49 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Not comments. Request.
And equally irrelevant.
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Old 10th October 2019, 11:27 AM   #75
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The only "solid" anchor for Great Britain after leaving the EU would been its "special relationship" with the US.

The fact that Trump doesn't want to surrender the spouse of a faceless diplomat of no consequence to face potential criminal charges in the UK, after they apparently killed someone in a car crash caused by their negligence, just goes to show how little respect he has for Americas relations with the UK.
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Old 11th October 2019, 06:45 AM   #76
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The Times is reporting that US authorities were previously warned by a coroner about American military personnel driving on the wrong side of the road:

"Peter Dean, the Suffolk coroner, warned the US about the risk to drivers after two servicemen died near RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall. He urged the US air force in 2007 to “learn lessons” from the deaths of Julious Hawkins, 25, and John Biram, 27. He said that American personnel “could revert back to their natural side of the road”. In 2016 Hunter Davis, 27, based at RAF Mildenhall, was also killed on the wrong side of the road."

The way things are going, it may be that an inquest is the only legal process that's going to happen as regards this latest case.
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Old 11th October 2019, 06:58 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
The only "solid" anchor for Great Britain after leaving the EU would been its "special relationship" with the US.

The fact that Trump doesn't want to surrender the spouse of a faceless diplomat of no consequence to face potential criminal charges in the UK, after they apparently killed someone in a car crash caused by their negligence, just goes to show how little respect he has for Americas relations with the UK.
.....and yet President Trump is willing to do plenty for Erdogan. I think that demonstrates where the UK is in the world pecking order at the moment and I think that's something Brexiteers should bear in mind if they think they're going to get an equitable trade deal with the US.
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Old 12th October 2019, 03:01 PM   #78
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https://news.sky.com/story/diplomats...rents-11833917



Quote:
"The UK government's position is that immunity, and therefore any question of waiver, is no longer relevant in Mrs Sacoolas' case, because she has returned home.

"The US have now informed us that they too consider that immunity is no longer pertinent.

"In these circumstances, Harry's case is now a matter for Northants police and the CPS to take forward.
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Old 12th October 2019, 03:57 PM   #79
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The US diplomat's wife granted immunity after the crash which killed teenager Harry Dunn is "devastated by the tragic accident", her lawyer has said.

A statement issued on behalf of Mrs Sacoolas, whose husband worked at RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire, said: "Anne is devastated by this tragic accident.

"No loss compares to the death of a child and Anne extends her deepest sympathy to Harry Dunn's family. She spoke with authorities at the scene of the accident and met with the Northampton police at her home the following day. She will continue to cooperate with the investigation," the statement continued.

"Anne would like to meet with Mr Dunn's parents so that she can express her deepest sympathies and apologise for this tragic accident."


https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-englan...shire-50030750
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Old 12th October 2019, 09:07 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Originally Posted by Matthew Best View Post
Thanks for that.

I'm guessing if Libyan assassins can get away with actually shooting and killing a policeman from the window of their Embassy without any comeback, then this lady can get away with hitting someone with her car, but I'll be glad to be proved wrong.
I think the legal situation there would be throwing them all out of the country then declaring war.

Since it was a Libyan government employee firing from their own territory across the border into a foreign country I'd say they had already begun an unprovoked invasion. Declaring war is simply a formality at that point.

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