THE dad of missing Hartlepool toddler Katrice Lee has fresh hope of a meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron – now that the investigation into the youngster’s disappearance has been revealed as flawed.
Richard Lee met with Hartlepool MP Iain Wright yesterday to discuss the way forward as he continues his campaign for justice after the Lee family said they suffered “decades of silence” and a catalogue of unfairness and errors.
Richard, 63, who lives off Stockton Road, in Hartlepool, said he hopes for a public apology from military police chiefs. And he is continuing his fight for a public inquiry into the handling of the 1981 investigation into his daughter’s disappearance from a NAAFI store in Paderborn, in Germany.
Mr Wright has already successfully appealed for Royal Military Police (RMP) chiefs to go on the record to apologise to the Lee family and publicly admit that the original probe was flawed.
A written record from Defence Minister Mark Francois can be viewed on the website for Hansard, which is a report of proceedings in the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
But Richard wants the admissions to be made more public, and is calling for Mr Francois to make a verbal statement in Parliament.
He also wants assurance that a promised review of the RMP’s findings will include the handling of the 1981 investigation, and not just the current probe.
David Cameron said in May last year that he would not be looking into the matter any further after meeting with RMP chiefs.
But Richard says a landmark admission of failings in the case should mean that the Prime Minister changes his mind.
“I’m hoping that the Prime Minister, who, in my opinion, has egg on his face after being inappropriately briefed by the RMP, will now meet with the family,” said Richard.
“What Iain Wright has got to do now is ask a question in Parliament using the words ‘in the light of further evidence coming forward that the case was flawed’, saying he has been briefed wrongly and urging him again to meet with the family.”
Richard said he hoped the Prime Minister could use his influence to push the campaign for justice in Germany, and get the case aired on the country’s version of Crimewatch.
He said although a lot of progress had been made last year, in terms of an admission from the RMP and more awareness raised, his year ended by tragedy, as his sister, Ann Heron, a mother-of-three and grandmother, of Kipling Road, Hartlepool, died on Sunday after battling health problems including pneumonia.
He said: “Ann’s passing is making me even more determined to plough on for justice, time is of the essence.”