Woman who harassed family of missing Hartlepool girl Katrice Lee is jailed

MISSING: Katrice Lee
MISSING: Katrice Lee

A MISSING girl’s father who became the subject of a harassment campaign has spoken of his relief after his tormentor was jailed.

Donna Wright was sentenced to 14 weeks in prison after earlier admitting harassing Hartlepool man Richard Lee, whose two-year-old daughter Katrice vanished from a Naafi store, in Germany, in November 1981.

Wright appeared at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday after she admitted breaking a restraining order to telephone Richard.

Speaking after the court case, retired postman Richard, 64, said Wright looked “shocked” when detention officers appeared and placed handcuffs on her.

“It was lovely to see,” he said.

“From that perspective I feel good. But I still feel there’s no end to it.”

Richard, from the Stockton Road area of Hartlepool, read out a victim impact statement in court in which he described Wright as a “thoroughly nasty and evil person”.

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.

She then admitted also harassing Richard 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.

In his statement, Richard told of Wright’s “prolonged and persistent” harassment over a three-year period.

He said: “I’m concerned that this has continued for a period of three years and to be targeted by Miss Wright, who I have to say I feel to be a thoroughly nasty and evil person, throughout such an extended time-frame, it has magnified this ordeal and sufficient action needs to be taken to ensure closure.”

He used his statement to plead for the legal system to come down harder on people who abuse social media and said Wright had indirectly hampered the search for Katrice, as the Search for Katrice Lee Facebook page had had to be given restricted access due to her actions.

He added: “To seek my telephone number and bombard me with abuse is despicable.

“If I could ask you to walk in my shoes for just one day, as I have walked the last 32 years, then maybe, just maybe, you can understand the depth of feeling I have towards this individual.”

Wright admitted the offence last month but the case had been adjourned for sentencing to allow for pre-sentence and psychiatric reports to be produced.

Wright’s solicitor, Viv Waugh, had said she had been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and may have a personality disorder, and is undergoing psychiatric treatment.

Meanwhile Richard said he was “envious” of the attention given to the Madeleine McCann case after police began searching an area in Praia da Luz, Portugal, where she went missing seven years ago.

He said every year 250,000 children go missing in the UK and “it is not all about one individual person or family”.