Radioactive Fugitive on the Run

Police have been warned not to handcuff themselves to a fugitive whose medical treatment has made him radioactive.

Police are hunting down a man whose medical treatment has made him radioactive.

Thomas Marius Leopold, 42, didn't appear at a court hearing in London this week on child pornography charges.

His lawyer Jeannie Mackay told the court his treatment for a thyroid problem made him radioactive.

"Please warn officers that when he is arrested he might be radioactive," Judge John Price said.

"This is not a joke."

It's likely Mr Leopold is being treated with radioactive iodine for an overactive thyroid, according to Royal Victoria Infirmary radiation protection adviser Mike Keir, who claimed the risk to police and the public was minimal.

"You'd have to spend a lot of time in close contact to have any significant effect," Mr Keir said.

"The only thing I would suggest is that they wouldn't have an officer handcuffed to him."

Mr Leopold was arrested in July 2006 but the trial was postponed due to his poor health. Ms Mackay said his poor health had caused the latest postponement and said her client had travelled to Ireland.

Mr Leopold was "doing everything to make it as difficult as he can to let the trial go ahead," Judge Price said, issuing a warrant for his arrest.
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