UK – Married maths teacher, 30, who ran away to France with one of his pupils, 15, in court this morning to face child abduction charge.
- Jeremy Forrest arrived in Gatwick Airport Tuesday after being arrested
- Maths teacher and teenager Megan Stammers sparked a Europe-wide search
- Schoolgirl flew back home after pair were discovered in Bordeaux last month
Jeremy Forrest, 30, was released from jail near Bordeaux, in the south-west of the country, before boarding a flight to Gatwick Tuesday after almost two weeks in prison. He has been charged with child abduction. He and teenager Megan Stammers disappeared from her home town of Eastbourne, East Sussex, on September 20, sparking a Europe-wide search.
The pair took a cross-Channel ferry to Calais in Forrest’s Ford Fiesta before abandoning the car in Paris. They then took a train to Bordeaux, where they stayed in budget hotels while Forrest looked for bar work.
French police arrested Forrest a week ago last Friday.
Forrest was taken into custody when he arrived at Gatwick. A Bordeaux police spokesman said he had been returned to the UK under the terms of a European Arrest Warrant. Forrest’s UK solicitor Phil Smith has said his client looks forward to the ‘full story’ emerging in the coming months. His French lawyer Daniel Lalanne said he insists he never hurt Megan.
The investigation was ramped up when she and Forrest failed to use return ferry tickets on September 23. A European Arrest Warrant was issued and the case featured on BBC’s Crimewatch. It has been claimed that Forrest was due to be suspended by the school the day before he and the teenager went to France. East Sussex County Council has confirmed it and school officials were ‘addressing and investigating concerns’, but it has not said when those were made and declined to comment on suggestions he was facing suspension. The schoolgirl’s headteacher said the school would offer support to the teenager and her family ‘as they seek to return to some sort of normality’.
Why would Jeremy Forrest do such a thing? Why didn’t he think of consequences? Why with a minor – the girl’s 15, for Lord’s sake?!