Father speaks of harassment ordeal

Katrice Lee went missing in 1981.

Katrice Lee went missing in 1981.

First published in National News © by

The father of a two-year-old who went missing in 1981 branded a woman who flouted a court order to harass him a "nasty individual" whose campaign is deflecting his family from their aim of finding his daughter.

Donna Wright, 34, broke a restraining order to telephone Richard Lee, whose daughter Katrice has not been seen since she disappeared in a busy Naafi store near a British Army base in Germany.

Wright, from Oak Terrace, West Cornforth, County Durham, was last year sentenced to a 12-week jail term, suspended for 18 months, for harassing Katrice's mother Sharon in Gosport, Hampshire, and Katrice's sister Natasha.

Wright turned nasty after a DNA test proved she was not the missing girl, and sent spiteful messages over Facebook.

After eight court hearings and sacking her solicitor previously, Wright has now admitted also harassing 64-year-old Mr Lee, from Hartlepool, after conclusive phone records were produced.

On December 2 last year she rang him at 11.45pm and several times after that, despite a restraining order to prevent her from contacting Katrice's family.

She will be sentenced on June 4 to allow for pre-sentence and psychiatric reports to be produced. District Judge Martin Walker who dealt with her last March will sentence her for the fresh harassment charge.

Viv Waugh, defending, told Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court his client had been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and may have a personality disorder and is undergoing psychiatric treatment.

Outside court Mr Lee, who was a sergeant in the King's Royal Hussars based in Germany when Katrice vanished, was "saddened" that Wright had been able to play the judicial system.

He said: "She is not a fool.

"She has manipulated the system, and as far as I am concerned she is a nasty individual.

"All I want is an end to the whole saga, but a justifiable end."

Mr Lee said his family had already battled with the Royal Military Police over the flawed investigation in Katrice's disappearance.

"We are a family already enduring any parent's nightmare, and she has come along to take my family away from our true aim which is to find Katrice," he said.

Despite the seriousness of the case, he was able to smile when he recalled the Dad's Army "Don't tell him Pike" moment, when Wright called him last year.

He said: "She rang me at 11.45pm, having already rung other Lees in Hartlepool.

"The three times she rang the line went dead.

"Then she rang and said 'I'm doing a line check, is that Richard Lee, father of Katrice Lee?'

"I said 'Yes it is', and the phone went dead.

"When she picked it up again it was a 'Don't tell them Pike moment'. She rang again and I said 'hello Donna'.

"She's said 'Donna? I'm not Donna Wright'."

Other women have come forward believing they may be Katrice, he said.

"They have had DNA tests as well," he said. "But once they have found out they have disappeared gracefully, which this individual has not.

"When it was proved she was not Katrice, she turned nasty.

"Having gone to court, been given an 18-month suspended sentence, she then still starts with me.

"I think she is a sad individual, trying to get her little bit of fame on the back of my family's misfortune."

Mr Lee believed his daughter was abducted and given a new life.

He said: "Katrice deserves to know who her true parents are.

"I would hope she's had all the love and care we would have given her.

"She is probably married with children, speaking a different language.

"I could be a grandfather now and not know."

Wright was granted conditional bail.

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