Parents of girl who ran off to France with her teacher recovering in hospital after 'attempted suicide'
Couple carried out of their home on stretchers after emergency callInternational hunt was launched after teenager disappeared
10:29 GMT, 9 December 2012
The parents of a schoolgirl who ran away with her teacher are in hospital recovering from suspected suicide attempt, it emerged today.
They were carried out of their home on stretchers by an ambulance crew, reportedly suffering from a drugs overdose.
Last night the couple were said to be in a stable condition at Eastbourne Hospital, East Sussex.
Care: Eastbourne hospital where the couple were taken from their home after an emergency call
A hunt for their teenage daughter was launched last September after she vanished with her teacher.
They were found safe in the south-west French city of Bordeaux where he was arrested on a European warrant and the pair were returned to Britain.
Five police cars and two ambulances arrived at the parents' home in Eastbourne, on Wednesday night after the girl's mother rang the emergency services.
A neighbour told the Sun: 'The dad and his wife left on stretchers. Then there lots of camera flashes inside the house and evidence bags were carried out.
'A friend who lives close by was told by police they believed two people at the house had suspected overdoses.'
Held: The teacher hidden under a coat is led away from the magistrates court by French police after his extradition was agreed
Neighbours denied that the apparent overdose was connected to the girl running off with her teacher.
In a statement, Sussex Police said: 'A man and a woman have been taken to hospital in Eastbourne suffering from the effects of what is believed to be an overdose.
'Police were called to a house just before 8pm last Wednesday. On arrival they found the man described as very ill and the woman who is understood to have called the ambulance service. Both were then taken to hospital.'
The teacher was brought back to Britain and arrested on suspicion of child abduction after magistrates in Bordeaux agreed to his extradition.
Picturesque: The French city of Bordeaux where the teacher and schoolgirl were found safe
It emerged that the couple managed to evade capture after the teenager travelled on what is believed to be a passport belonging to her mother.
When the schoolgirl returned home, she took to Twitter to express her gratitude for messages of support she had received from the public.
But she soon closed her Twitter account after receiving some abusive messages, although the majority were supportive.