Jeremy Forrest will not fight extradition

 

Teacher Jeremy Forrest who went missing with his teenage pupil Megan Stammers will not fight extradition proceedings against him and has agreed to return to the UK “as soon as possible”, his lawyers said today.

The 30-year-old was arrested on suspicion of child abduction after the pair were found in the French town of Bordeaux on Thursday.

Phil Smith, from Tuckers Solicitors, said in a statement: "He has agreed to return to the UK as soon as possible without the need for protracted extradition proceedings."

Fifteen-year-old Megan is expected to travel back to her hometown of Eastbourne, East Sussex, today more than a week after she went missing with her 30-year-old teacher.

Forrest, Megan's maths teacher at Bishop Bell C of E School, in Eastbourne, remains in police custody in France.

It is understood it will be a number of days before he is returned to the UK as he awaits to appear in court in France on Tuesday.

Megan's parents have already been in contact with their daughter by telephone but have remained in the UK as they await her return, a Sussex Police spokesman said.

Officers plan to speak with Megan once she has met with mother Danielle Wilson and stepfather Martin Stammers, he added.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: "Megan is likely to return today to be reunited with her family and to speak with police."

An officer from Sussex Police's child protection team travelled to Bordeaux to meet Megan after she was found, while a detective inspector from the force was already in France as part of the ongoing search for the teenager, the spokesman said.

The pair were spotted in Bordeaux by a member of the public who recognised Forrest from television coverage, Chief Inspector Jason Tingley from Sussex Police said.

It was the third potential sighting of the pair in the city, and they were tracked down shortly after midday yesterday.

Last night Megan's family expressed their joy that she had been found.

Mr Stammers told reporters at a press conference: "We just can't wait to be reunited with her. Our family are overjoyed at the outcome. As you can imagine it's been an absolute emotional rollercoaster."

Thanking the police, media and members of the public for maintaining publicity in the case, Mr Stammers said: "I just can't put it into words how grateful we are as a family."

He asked that they are left alone in private to "bond as a family" after her disappearance.

Mr Tingley said: "Megan is now in the care of British consular staff and Sussex Police child protection team officers. She will be returned to the UK to be with her family.

"Jeremy is in custody in Bordeaux after his arrest and the process of his extradition will now commence."

Megan was reported missing when she failed to turn up for school last Friday, and it emerged that she had travelled with Forrest to France the previous evening, sparking a highly-publicised search.

Forrest's parents Jim and Julie Forrest said in a statement: "We are pleased that Megan and Jeremy have been found safe and well. This has been an ordeal for all the families concerned.

"We would like to thank Sussex and the French police as well as the British media for their assistance.

"We are relieved that the search is finally over and everyone can now focus on a safe and secure return for them both."

Terry Boatwright, headteacher of Bishop Bell C of E School, which Megan attends, said everyone was "delighted" that she had been found.

He said: "Throughout the last week, finding Megan has been everyone's priority and a major focus of our thoughts and prayers in school. Clearly, much needs to be done now to support Megan and her family as they seek to return to some sort of normality and we will do all we can to play our part in that."

It was claimed that concerns had been raised about the teenager's relationship with her teacher as early as February, when her friend told another teacher that they had been seen holding hands.

East Sussex Council said it was investigating what happened.

PA

News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin