Teacher was mental hospital escapee

Dignes

Claims that he was a Scotland Yard spy raised suspicions among staff at French school who called in police

A MENTAL patient who fled hospital in Northern Ireland managed to reach the south of France and land himself a job teaching German in two schools.

The 26-year-old, who had been accused of attempted murder in Ulster and was committed to hospital, was doing supply teaching in two schools in Digne-les-Bains in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence when colleagues became suspicious.

Alpes 1 radio station said the man, whose name was given only as Lewis, had claimed to be a spy working for British security and Scotland Yard.

Management at Lycée Pierre Gilles de Gennes contacted police when they discovered what he had been saying and he was sacked. He started working at the school and Collège Maria Borrély last month.

Police inquiries found that he was a dangerous schizophrenic who had been confined to hospital in 2008 for attacking someone in a lift with a knife. He escaped last November.

He has been taken to a specialist hospital in Digne, pending extradition to Northern Ireland.

Photo: Mzelle Laure

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