Father of missing Katrice Lee astounded by Prime Minister’s “wishy washy” response to meeting

APPEAL: Katrice Lee's father, Richie, is to ask David Cameron for help.
APPEAL: Katrice Lee's father, Richie, is to ask David Cameron for help.

THE father of a girl who went missing more than 30 years ago is unhappy that a meeting with the Prime Minister can not be agreed immediately.

Prime Minister David Cameron has agreed to meet with the family of missing Hartlepool girl Katrice Lee.

But he says the meeting shouldn’t take place until after an investigation into the case has concluded.

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright has repeatedly written to the Prime Minister calling for a meeting with the family, but one has not yet taken place.

Mr Cameron is reported as saying: “If they want to meet me I’m always happy to meet with families. It may be better to meet after the investigation has been completed because I don’t want to speculate really on what the investigation is doing and when it might finish.”

But Mr Lee, 65, who lives in Hartlepool, described the response as “wishy washy.”

He said: “My personal opinion is that actions speak louder than words. He has had repeated requests from Hartlepool MP Iain Wright on the family’s behalf and has refused point blank.”

It comes after Mr Cameron was reported agreeing to meet with Mr Lee’s family, but only after the conclusion of the latest review into the case.

Katrice vanished from a Naafi store, in Paderborn, Germany, where Richie was serving as a Sergeant Major with the British Army, on her second birthday, on November 28, 1981.

Katrice has never been found and Royal Military Police chiefs finally issued an apology to the family in 2012 after admitting a series of failings in the initial investigation.

Mr Lee added: “I’m 65-years-old and for 33 years Katrice has been out of my life and that shouldn’t have happened. She may have children, and if that’s the case, I would like to meet my grandchildren.

“I served in the Army for 37 years. What sort of signal is this sending to people in the armed services if I’m being treated this way?

“It took 30 years for the Ministry of Defence to admit that something was wrong with the original investigation, so how long is it going to take for this new investigation to be completed and for the family to meet with Mr Cameron.”

Mr Lee added: “I have very little faith in what he’s said. I would have loved to have Katrice return to the family but now I know that that probably won’t happen.

“It’s been a long and lonely life because of the fighting to get justice for Katrice.

“A lot of parents will tell you about that feeling they’ve had when they take their eyes off their child for a second and they disappear.

“Your heart is in your throat until you find them and I’ve had that feeling for 30 years. I didn’t lose my child, she was snatched from me.

“I’ve had 30 years without her and 30 years of fighting with the Ministry of Defence and I shouldn’t have had to do that and at times, I feel absolutely gutted that I’ve had to.

“I’m getting older now and there’s that worry that I may never find out what happened to Katrice.”

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