Katrice harassment case adjourned

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A WOMAN charged with harassing the mum and sister of a Hartlepool toddler who disappeared more than 30 years ago has had her case adjourned for the third time.

Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court heard Donna Wright, who at 33 is the same age as missing Katrice Lee, is not deemed well enough to attend court.

Wright, of Hillside Court, Spennymoor, has been accused of using Facebook to harass Katrice’s sister Natasha and mother Sharon during a period of almost a year.

She is charged with one count of harassment without violence and is accused of sending “numerous emails and Facebook postings to the victims” between December 2011 and November 24 last year.

At court today, District Judge Martin Walker was told that Wright was not deemed medically fit to attend court.

He asked that at the next hearing Wright attend in person or more detailed reasons for her absence be given.

He said: “This is a high profile case with a great deal of public interest because of the complainants in this matter.

“It is not fair to the public who have a legitimate interest in this case that it keeps being adjourned.

“Progress is something necessary in justice for the complainant and the public at large.”

Wright’s defence barrister Jane Scott said she had instructed a psychiatrist and hoped to present the court with his report at the next hearing.

Judge Walker adjourned the case to the same court for a hearing on February 27.

He extended Wright’s bail – which includes conditions of not looking at or posting any comments whatsoever on the Facebook page of Katrice Lee.

She must also refrain from contacting any member of the Lee family or the administrators of the Facebook page.

Katrice Lee went missing during a trip to a German supermarket with her mother Sharon in 1981 on her second birthday.

Her dad Richard, who lives in the Belle Vue area of Hartlepool, had been stationed in Germany with the British Army when she disappeared.

Despite international appeals she has never been found.

Katrice’s father Richard was at the hearing and listened to proceedings intently from the back of the court room.