Megan Stammers: vapid teenager spends few days in France with ageing teacher
MEGAN Stammers is coming home. The 15-year-old who ran off with Jeremy Forrest, her maths teacher, is heading back to the family. Forrest is heading to jail, charged with child abduction. The media laps it up:
Daily Mail (front page): “Secrets of Megan’s 8 days on the run”
The paper says it has “Extraordinary details of couple’s eight days on the run”.
Only, the paper has no details at all.
Daily Mirror (front page): “They were’t coming back home”
MISSING Megan Stammers burst into tears yesterday as she and her teacher Jeremy Forrest were finally caught while looking for pub work to fund their life on the run. The 15-year-old was spotted by undercover police walking hand-in-hand with Forrest, 30, while going from bar to bar in the French city of Bordeaux.
The Sun (front page): “Megan’s Tears”
Teenagers older lover arrested. Teenager cries. It’s sooooooo unfair.
The Independent (front page): “Hand in hand after 8 days that felt like a lifetime”
Detectives acting on a tip-off were lying in wait for Mr Forrest as he strolled yesterday lunchtime with 15-year-old Megan in the centre of Bordeaux, some 300 miles south-west of Paris.
The Mirror uses a different tape measure:
Realising they had to move on, the pair decided to dump Forrest’s car in Paris and travel to Bordeaux, 350 miles further south, by train.
The Mail ups the ante:
French police believe they may have ‘dumped’ Forrest’s car in Paris before travelling 400 miles by train to the city in the south-west of the country.
Stammers and Forest were found in Bordeaux, walking along the Rue Sainte-Catherine.
Forest, who taught Stammers maths at Bishop Bell School, Eastbourne, Sussex, has been charged with child abduction at Bordeaux Court of Appeal.
Martin Stammers, Megan’s stepfather, says:
“We just can’t wait to be reunited with her. Our family are overjoyed at the outcome. As you can imagine, it’s been an absolute emotional rollercoaster. The last week has been hell, but that does not matter now. She is safe, she is well. We know she’s fine.”
The teacher’s parents, Jim and Julie Forrest, says:
“We are pleased that Megan and Jeremy have been found safe and well. This has been an ordeal for all the families concerned. We would like to thank Sussex and the French police as well as the British media for their assistance. We are relieved that the search is over and everyone can focus on a secure return for them both.”
Stammers’ headteacher Terry Boatwright, the head teacher, says:
“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.”
When all else fails, turn to prayer.
All we know is that Forrest and Stammers drove to Paris, where they caught a train to Bordeaux.
Back in Ringmer, where Mr Forrest lived with his wife, Emily, a neighbour tells the Times:
“Obviously Jeremy has got to face up to this. He’s been very, very silly. He’s ruined his life. Emily still has to go through all this. For her, she can’t go away. I think there’s lessons to be learnt by the school. If they knew about this, obviously something should have been done sooner, if there was the slightest indication; but it’s ended in a good way.”
The Daily Express says Megan is “young enough to chalk this episode down to experience and get over it”.