27 Sep 2012

Teacher’s father appeals for missing pair to get in touch

As a European arrest warrant is issued for maths teacher Jeremy Forrest, his parents make an emotional public appeal for his son to return home with runaway teenage pupil Megan Stammers.

Speaking to the media at Sussex Police HQ a week after the pair left the UK across the Channel, Jim Forrest told them “we are all here for you both”.

Sitting beside his wife, Jim Forrest urged the pair to call or send an email to let people know that they are both safe: “There are a lot of people back home who are desperate to hear from you.” he said.

“Please, please get in contact.”

A European arrest warrant has been issued for Mr Forrest, a Sussex Police’s chief inspector Jason Tingley confirmed at the press conference.

The warrant relates to an offence of child abduction and the details have been circulated to every EU country, meaning that Jeremy Forrest can be arrested if found in any of these countries.

Advanced tickets

Chief inspector Tingley said the police understood that Megan went willingly and that there was an element of planning with advanced ferry tickets booked.

He said that it was not too late for either Jeremy or Megan to contact police directly to arrange their safe return, adding that the best scenario would be for them to return voluntarily.

The last confirmed sighting of Megan, 15, and 30-year-old Mr Forrest, who taught maths at Bishop Bell C of E School in Eastbourne, East Sussex, was from CCTV cameras on board a Dover-to-Calais ferry at 9.30pm on Thursday 20 September.

The release of two images of the pair, arm in arm and holding hands, was intended to trigger a response from the public about their whereabouts.

But there have been no further sightings, police have said.

Megan’s stepfather, Martin Stammers on Thursday urged people to continue to help find her.

He tweeted: “Please continue your efforts, if I could thank you all individually I would, your help is invaluable I implore you to RT #findmeganstammers.”

School trip

Since the pair’s disappearance Bishop Bell C of E School has been under the spotlight over the way it dealt with warnings about a relationship between Megan and Jeremy Forrest.

It has been alleged that their closeness prompted concerns following a school trip to Los Angeles in February.

ITV News reported on Wednesday that Forrest was due to be suspended by the school the day before he and Megan fled to France.

The programme said that the school had referred its concerns to Sussex Police, whose officers then examined Megan’s mobile phone, believing that they might find evidence of an inappropriate relationship, but did not.

The school was then advised to suspend Jeremy Forrest, ITV News added.