Donna Wright has been sentenced for harassing the relatives of Katrice Lee, who went missing in 1981 on her second birthday. District Judge Martin Walker today sentenced her to 12 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 18 months.
The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 states:
(1) A person must not pursue a course of conduct—
(a) which amounts to harassment of another, and
(b) which he knows or ought to know amounts to harassment of the other.
The offence is summary-only (triable only in the Magistrates’ Court) and carries a maximum sentence of 6 months imprisonment and/or a £5,000 fine.
It has been reported that Ms Wright, who has been diagnosed as suffering with bi-polar disorder, believed that she was in fact the missing girl, even after DNA tests proved otherwise. In committing the offence Ms Wright sent messages via the social networking site Facebook to the family of the missing toddler.
The judge also imposed a restraining order restricting Ms Wright’s Facebook use and banning her from contacting the Lee family.
BBC news has reported the case here.