Eastbourne schoolteacher could face child abduction charge: lawyer

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MATHS teacher Jeremy Forrest who has run away with his 15-year-old pupil could face arrest on charges of child abduction.

Police have refused to comment on what, if any, criminal charges the 30-year-old married teacher would face if and when he and Megan Stammers are found.

Justin Rivett, a criminal defence solicitor of Eastbourne criminal law specialists Rodney Warren and Co, has advised the teacher could face arrest.

He said, “He could potentially face arrest on suspicion of child abduction as the Child Abduction Act of 1984 make its it an offence for a person to remove a child from the lawful control of a person who has the lawful control of child (i.e the child’s parents).”

Police believe Megan went willingly but Mr Rivett explained her consent in this situation would not be relevant in this case.

Mr Rivett said, “The child’s consent does not afford an individual a defence to this allegation, but it is a factor that the police can have regard to when making a decision in relation to whether to charge someone in this situation. ”

The case was due to appear on Crimewatch last night (Thursday 27).

Sussex Police has said it is working with French authorities and Interpol to trace the pair. However, Interpol has said it can’t confirm that it is working on the case.

The Daily Telegraph reported that French police were not actively searching for the pair.

The Telegraph’s report quoted Jean-Philippe Joubert, state prosecutor for Boulogne-sur-Mer, saying they were on the missing persons list and a European Arrest Warrant had been issued but said, “There are no dedicated detectives or specific searches going on right now.

“But if the couple are recognised and identified they will be arrested.”