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Runaway teacher to appear in court
Runaway teacher Jeremy Forrest is due to make his first public appearance at the start of extradition proceedings after spending eight days on the run with 15-year-old pupil Megan Stammers.
Married amateur musician Forrest, 30, was arrested on suspicion of child abduction on Friday in Bordeaux after the issuing of a European Arrest Warrant. His UK-based solicitor, Phil Smith, from Tuckers Solicitors, said that he has agreed to return to Britain as soon as possible without lengthy extradition proceedings.
Maths teacher Forrest, from Ringmer, near Lewes, East Sussex, will appear at the Court of Appeal in Bordeaux - four days after he was detained after being recognised from TV coverage in France. According to reports, he touted a bogus CV around bars in the city as he sought cash-in-hand work but was recognised by the owner of one bar.
He eloped with Megan, from Eastbourne, on September 20 when they were captured on CCTV arm-in-arm and holding hands on a cross-Channel Dover to Calais ferry.
Megan had earlier that afternoon told her mother, Danielle Wilson, that she was going to spend the night at a friend's house. Her mother said Megan was "really excitable" and was "jumping around".
CCTV cameras later caught Forrest's black Ford Fiesta, registration GJ08 RJO, heading to the Port of Dover with Megan sat in the passenger seat. A message was sent to one of Megan's friends saying she had arrived safely in France, and the following morning her mother received a text message telling her she had not arrived at school.
Police were aware that return ferry tickets had been bought, but when the pair failed to use them on September 23, the investigation was ramped up. A European Arrest Warrant was issued two days later, the case featured on BBC's Crimewatch and online appeals were made on Facebook and Twitter by her stepfather, Martin Stammers, and her siblings.
As days passed without the pair making contact, public appeals were also made by Megan's mother and stepfather, and Forrest's father, Jim Forrest, who lives in Petts Wood, south east London.
It emerged that Forrest gave Megan extra-curricular maths lessons and that concerns about their closeness had been reported to the school authorities following a trip to LA in February.
Forrest, who had a tattoo of a girl inked on his arm this summer, was due to be suspended by the school the day before he and Megan eloped to France, it has been claimed. East Sussex County Council has confirmed it and school officials were "addressing and investigating concerns" but has not said when those were made and declined to comment on suggestions he was facing suspension.