Immigrant hitches a ride on bottom of the school coach

Helen Morgan, head at Hipperholme and Lightcliffe School.
Helen Morgan, head at Hipperholme and Lightcliffe School.

Schoolchildren brought back more than mementos for their families from a school trip when an illegal immigrant latched on to the bottom of their coach.

The group, from Hipperholme and Lightcliffe High School, were on a languages trip to France and had made it to a service station in Northampton before the immigrant was spotted.

Head of languages, Fouzia Trier, said: “We were on our way back and we stopped at the petrol station in Calais which is when he must have got under the coach.

“We didn’t see him at 
the time.”

The coach was checked by Customs Officials but he managed to sneak through the checkpoints and then hold on underneath the bus for the two and a half hour journey to Northampton.

“We stopped at the services and the driver saw a man in his mirrors,” said Miss Trier.

“He got off the coach and ran after him and kept hold of him until the police arrived.”

Headteacher Helen Morgan said: “The students were never in any danger as he was under the bus but they felt quite sorry for him.

“I’m proud of the staff and the way they handled the situation.”

A spokesperson for Hodson’s Coaches, who supplied the vehicles and drivers, said: “Our drivers are professional and acted in a very professional way.

“They hide in the space above the propshaft.”

A UK Border Agency spokesman said: “A Sudanese man has been put in immigration detention until he can be removed from the UK.”