A former fugitive dubbed "the cat" for her ability to evade capture has met the detective who led a Europe-wide hunt for her.

Steve Skerrett even made an appeal on Crimewatch during his search for Fiona Mont, who fled to the Continent after she was accused of being involved in a £300,000 computer scam.

The case was later dropped and expublic school pupil Ms Mont returned to Sussex. Footage of the detective and his former quarry drinking tea and chatting has now appeared on website YouTube.

Mr Skerrett, who resigned from Sussex Police several years ago, talks candidly about the investigation. He claims senior officers put pressure on him to catch Ms Mont because of intense media interest in the case.

In the film he says: "In the scheme of things you were public enemy number one. Why, I don't know. It was b****y computers and a few bits and bobs. I never saw you as a danger to the public.

I saw you as a clever fraudster."

He said his bosses refused to agree to pay an informer £3,000 in exchange for details of Ms Mont's whereabouts.

Instead Mr Skerrett had to tip off a Daily Mail reporter who provided the cash in return for a scoop. He estimates the investigation would have cost hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The case against Ms Mont was eventually dropped - a joint decision by the police and Crown Prosecution Service, according to a spokesman for the force.

The YouTube video was filmed by Ms Mont's husband Graham Hesketh. Mr Hesketh flew Ms Mont over the Channel in a light aircraft after she was arrested at her Hove flat in 1999. The pair drove around Europe in an old Land Rover towing a caravan.

In 2001, Mr Skerrett finally caught up with the pair living on a campsite in Malaga, Spain. Ms Mont spent a month in jail while extradition proceedings were under way but went on the run again after a Spanish judge released her on bail. When it became clear the police had lost interest in the case she returned to Sussex with Mr Hesketh and their two children, both born in Europe.

Ms Mont, who has always denied the fraud allegations, told The Argus she had been in touch with Mr Skerrett for several years and he had happily agreed to the interview.

She said: "It was filmed recently and there is hours of it. What is on the internet is just a very small snippet."

She said she had no ill feelings towards the police but said: "I get the impression Steve Skerrett went out on a limb because he thought I was something I was not. Once he realised he'd misjudged it he backed off. He has apologised and we forgave him a long time ago."

She said she published the interview, along with several other short films about her life on the run, to set the record straight.

She said: "It was distressing for us as a family in many respects and when I read about other people in similar stories it makes me wonder how they and their families are coping.

"There are too many witch hunts out there and I don't hear any voices publicly sticking up for any of them. All I hear is lynch mobs baying for blood."

Click here to watch the video