Hartlepool father of missing Katrice Lee 'remains to be convinced' after Boris Johnson agrees to meet him

Distraught Richard Lee has said he will “believe it when he is sat in the Prime Minister’s office” after Boris Johnson agreed to meet him as the 40th anniversary of the mystery disappearance of his daughter approaches.

Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 5:12 pm

Katrice Lee vanished on her second birthday on November 28, 1981, from a British military base in Paderborn, in what was then West Germany, where Richard was serving.

Richard, 71, remains convinced Katrice is still alive but wants clarity and answers over what he believes were mistakes made by both the RMP and German Police while carrying out the investigation.

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Following a plea during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons by Hartlepool MP Jill Mortimer, Boris Johnson agreed to meet Richard “father to father”.

Mr Johnson said: “This is a tragic case and I’m sure the thoughts of the entire house will be with the Lee family and of-course I will agree to my right honourable friends request to meet Mr Lee father to father.”

However, after being “let down” by previous Prime Ministers, Richard remains sceptical as to whether the promise will come to fruition.

He said: “I’ve heard this promise before from David Cameron and it never materialised. This is something which has really stuck with me. When David Cameron left his position we wrote to his successor, Theresa May, explaining the promise which had been made.

Richard Lee, 71, with a photograph of his daughter Katrice aged 18months. Picture by FRANK REID

"However, in her reply she said she couldn’t meet as there was no room in her diary. At the moment it’s just words and I will believe it when I am sat with the Prime Minister in his office.”

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If the meeting does go ahead, Richard said he wants answers over what he believes were mistakes made during the case.

He said: “I want clarification on the whole case. The day Katrice disappeared on November 28 is ingrained in my brain and from this point the I believe the correct things were never done by the RMP and German Police.

An age progressed picture of how Katrice Lee may look today.

"I don’t want to give too much away in advance of the meeting, but mistakes were made throughout this case since 1981. The one thing missing from this case is justice for Katrice.”

While Richard remains to be convinced the meeting will take place, he was fulsome in his praise for the town’s new Conservative MP, Jill Mortimer, for raising Katrice’s case in Parliament.

Richard, who fears Katrice was kidnapped by a childless couple or sold for profit, added: “Jill has been a stalwart in supporting the family and I’m so grateful to her for bringing this to the Prime Minister’s attention.”

Katrice Lee disappeared nearly 40 years ago on her second birthday.

One thing Richard remains convinced of is that Katrice is alive and “living her life”.

He said: “My belief is that she is still out there living her life but she doesn’t know she has parents still looking for her.

"All I want is to find out is where she is. I’m not confident this meeting with Boris Johnson will materialise as I’ve heard this before and it didn’t deliver.

"However, he has made this promise in-front of Parliament and he will lose a lot of kudos it he doesn’t go through with it.”

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