'Pure elation, pure relief' - stepfather's delight at Megan Stammers being found safe and well in France

 

Cahal Milmo
Friday 28 September 2012 18:59

The phone call that Martin Stammers and his family had spent seven long, arduous days hoping – indeed praying – for finally came shortly before lunchtime today.

Megan’s stepfather, who brought the 15-year-old up from an early age with her mother, Danielle, emerged from his home in Eastbourne with his thumbs in the air to speak of his “pure elation, pure relief” after being told by Sussex Police that she had been found safe and well minutes earlier in Bordeaux.

Speaking as news of the arrest of Jeremy Forrest, a 30-year-old maths teacher, brought a cavalcade of television cameras and reporters to his doorstep, an elated Mr Stammers, himself a teacher, revealed some of the pressure that the family had been under.

He said: “The relief, the outpouring of love from everyone, has just been amazing. We’re so happy … As time goes on you despair even more, but knowing Megan, knowing the girl she is, I always had that belief that she was strong enough within herself to remain safe and well.”

Asked what his feelings were towards Mr Forrest, with whom he had once worked and found him to be a “nice bloke”, Mr Stammers said: “No comment.”

On the streets of Eastbourne, there was relief that the disappearance which had seen a full procession of British and international media descend on the town had ended with Megan being found safe.

At Bishop Bell Church of England School the headteacher, Terry Boatwright, said everyone was delighted at the outcome.

Mr Boatwright added: “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.”

Last night Megan was expected to be reunited with her family within hours while the maths teacher was being held in the austere headquarters of the Bordeaux police, ahead of a likely fast-tracked return to Britain to face criminal charges.

The fact that Mr Forrest was held on a European Arrest Warrant obtained on Tuesday by Sussex Police means that he can expect to be handed over to British officers and travel back to the UK to face formal questioning after a court hearing scheduled for early next week.

The procedure, which differs from a traditional extradition in so far as the requesting country is not required to produce a full dossier of evidence, could be delayed if Mr Forrest objects to being removed back to Britain.

Once Mr Forrest returns, the process will begin of deciding what charges he should face. He has been arrested on charges of child abduction by taking Megan with him without her parents’ permission.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in