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UK police hunt for 'dangerously radioactive' teacher

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  • UK agency: Police appeal for help finding teacher charged with child porn offenses
  • Thomas Leopold reportedly last seen on ferry to Ireland
  • He is said to be dangerously radioactive due to treatment for thyroid condition
  • Judge: Warn officers that when he is arrested he might be radioactive
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(CNN) -- A "dangerously radioactive" teacher facing charges of child pornography is being hunted by UK police, media reported Friday.

Police are searching for Thomas Leopold, 42, of Hammersmith, west London, the UK Press Association reported.

Leopold, who had been given high doses of radiation as treatment for a thyroid condition, was scheduled to stand trial on February 9 but failed to appear in court, media reported.

He had been accused of five charges of creating and possessing child porn in 2006, the agency added.

Judge John Price, issuing a warrant at Southwark Crown Court, London, for Leopold's said in comments reported by PA: "Please warn officers that when he is arrested he might be radioactive. This is not a joke."

"We would appeal for anyone who knows his whereabouts to contact police," a spokesman for Scotland Yard said Friday.

Leopold, who is in charge of a tutorial college in Harrow northwest of London, was last seen a few days before his hearing on a car ferry destined for Rosslare, south-east Ireland.

The court heard, PA reported, that he was questioned by Special Branch police officers before he got onto a ferry at Fishguard, South Wales. There he produced his radiation documentation and said new bail conditions allowed him to visit Ireland to see his mother.

Jeannie Mackay, Leopold's solicitor, told the court that her client was in chronic health, the agency reported, but was not in contact with others.

"His doctor confirmed he is dangerous, in terms of radioactivity, for a period of six weeks after treatment," the agency reported Mackay as saying.

"He traveled to Ireland on his own, in his car. When he showed his radiation card, he was permitted to stay in the car, on the boat."

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