After 13 years on the run in Middle East, ex-north Norfolk teacher brought back to face sex charges

Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd.

Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd.

A former Norfolk teacher facing sex charges dating back to the early 1970s who went on the run for 13 years has appeared at Norwich Crown Court after being brought back from France.

Mervyn Rush, 67, a former teacher at Beeston Hall School, a prep school near Sheringham, was extradited from France this week after he was arrested there when he applied for his passport to be renewed.

He was previously charged with a number of sex offences committed in Norfolk in the early 1970s.

After failing to appear at a crown court hearing on July 3 2000, he was arrested in France under an European arrest warrant in May 2012 after he applied to the British embassy in Paris when his British passport needed to be renewed.

Rush, formerly of Dorking, Surrey, returned to the UK on Thursday following his arrest and appeared at Norwich Crown on Friday charged with 24 sex offences and breach of bail offences.

William Carter, prosecuting, said that Rush, who had been a teacher at a prep school, was charged with a number of offences of a sexual nature and the charges dated back to the early 1970s.

He said: 'It was an old case by the time it was due to be tried, but in 2000 Mr Rush absconded. It would seem he went abroad to the Middle East where he has been, I understand, teaching.

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'His passport required renewal and last year or the year before a renewal was sought and he contacted the British embassy in Paris.'

The court heard the embassy then notified the authorities about Rush, who has a property in France, prompting a European arrest warrant to be issued for him.

No application was made for bail and Rush was remanded in custody until a plea and case management hearing on June 7.