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Jeremy Forrest set to make first public appearance at French Court of Appeal
Runaway teacher Jeremy Forrest will today 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 Broyleside Cottages, Ringmer, 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 Walton CLose, 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.
Under the heading "You hit me just like heroin", Forrest wrote a blog under the name Jeremy Ayre four months ago in which he revealed he had a "moral dilemma".
Megan, meanwhile, had drawn up an online Bucket List - a compilation of goals someone wants to achieve before they die - in which she crossed out "fall in love" and "have someone write a song about me".
She arrived back in the UK at the weekend. Mr Stammers told reporters on Friday: "Our family are overjoyed at the outcome. As you can imagine it's been an absolute emotional rollercoaster."
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."
Terry Boatwright, headteacher of Bishop Bell C of E School, which Megan attends and Forrest taught at, 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."
During the search, concerns emerged about the child protection policies at the pair's school.
Child abuse campaigner Lucy Duckworth saying she wrote to Education Secretary Michael Gove earlier this year highlighting her worries.
Mr Boatwright said the school has a "robust" safeguarding policy and the effectiveness of its procedures was rated as "outstanding" by Ofsted.
The school also faced damaging disclosures about two men with links to it.
In 2009 supply teacher Robert Healy, then aged 27, was jailed for seven years at Lewes Crown Court after grooming two pupils on social networking site Bebo.
In a separate case, a former chairman of governors, Canon Gordon Rideout, 73, will appear at Crown Court this month after being charged with 38 child sex offences over an 11-year period from 1962.
The school has previously acknowledged the links but said he was not a member of staff and the allegations were historical and unrelated to the school.
Eastbourne MP, Liberal Democrat Stephen Lloyd, has publicly defended the school, saying its inquiries into the fears raised about Megan and Forrest would have been conducted in an "exemplary manner".