THE father of a toddler who disappeared more than 30 years ago is demanding justice after a woman who claimed to be his missing daughter admitted harassing him.
Donna Louise Wright breached a restraining order last December by calling Richard Lee, whose daughter Katrice Lee vanished from a British Army camp in Germany in 1981, several times in the middle of the night.
The 34-year-old received the order last March when she was sentenced to a 12-month jail term, suspended for 18 months, for harassing Katrice’s mother, Sharon, and sister, Natasha.
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Wright had contacted the family in 2011, claiming to be Katrice, but when a DNA test disproved this she sent a series of abusive messages via Facebook.
Wright, of Oak Terrace, West Cornforth, County Durham, originally denied harassing Mr Lee but at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court today (Thursday, May 8), she changed her plea to guilty.
Sarah Traynor, prosecuting, said Mr Lee received several calls from Wright at about 11.45pm on December 1.
Phone records backed this up and contradicted Wright’s claim’s that she had been returning a missed call on her mobile phone.
Mrs Traynor said: “Mr Lee contacted the police about the number of calls he had been receiving from her saying things like ‘I am doing a phone line check is this Richard Lee, the father of Katrice Lee?”
Viv Waugh, mitigating, said Wright suffered from mental health problems, including bipolar, and was undergoing psychiatric treatment.
Magistrates adjourned the case until Wednesday, June 4, for probation and psychiatric reports.
Two-year-old Katrice disappeared in 1981 while shopping with her mother on a British Army base in Paderborn, Germany, where Mr Lee was serving with the 15/19th Kings Royal Hussars.
Katrice’s family has never given up hope of finding her alive and Mr Lee, from Hartlepool, has devoted his life to the search.
Speaking outside court, Mr Lee described Wright as a “sad individual,” who was trying to find fame on the back of his family's misfortune.
“I am not seeking revenge,” he said. “I want closure. I want justice. This is distracting me from what I should be doing, which is concentrating on finding Katrice.”
Wright received conditional bail.