Woman sentenced for impersonating missing toddler Katrice Lee

A woman has been sentenced after admitting impersonating missing Hartlepool toddler Katrice Lee.

Heidi Robinson, 40, pleaded guilty to a malicious communications offence after sending a message that was grossly offensive, indecent or menacing on November 3 last year.

Today, at Wirrall Magistrates Court, Robinson was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison, suspended for two years, with a mental health treatment order.

The judge also banned her from making any contact with the family of Katrice Lee, for life.

Katrice vanished when out shopping with her mother Sharon and aunt Wendy at the Naafi store Credit: Family photo

Katrice vanished on her second birthday on 28 November 1981, from the outskirts of Paderborn in Germany, near the British military base where her father Richard was stationed.

  • Richard Lee's reaction outside court

The Royal Military Police (RMP) reopened the investigation to find Katrice in 2012, with re-analysed evidence identifying the bank of the River Alme in Paderborn as being of particular interest. However, officers excavating a section of the riverbank found bone fragments but they were found to be horse bones and the area was ruled out of the investigation.

In June 2014, another woman falsely claimed to be Katrice Lee, via phone calls in December 2013, only seven months into a suspended sentence for the same offence.

Donna Wright was jailed after admitting harassment and breaching her previous suspended sentence.

An e-fit of what Katrice Lee could look like now Credit: Family photo / RMP

On 24 September 2019, the Royal Military Police (RMP) made an arrest in connection with the disappearance of Katrice, after searching a house in the Moredon area of Swindon, Wiltshire.

An ex-serviceman arrested, then released without charge.

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