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Maidstone cafe worker Nick Batchelor spends his first days trying to evade capture on Channel 4's Hunted

By Mary Graham

A youth worker who admitted he 'had been on the run from police in his past' has gone on the run again - this time for prime-time TV.

Nick Batchelor, 51, made his first appearance on Channel 4's Hunted last night where participants have to evade capture by a team of serving and ex detectives and intelligence analysts.

The 51-year-old, from Aylesford, has been working at Switch Youth Café in Maidstone for the past three years, and appears alongside close friend Paul James as they look to escape capture from the authorities in a bid to win £100,000.

Paul and Nick try to escape the authorities for £100,000 in cash (6449397)
Paul and Nick try to escape the authorities for £100,000 in cash (6449397)

A past problem with alcohol and drugs saw Nick turn to theft and burglary and during his time on camera he spoke of how he had tried to avoid police.

Nick and Paul's strategy on last night's show was to use a network of people who Nick knew through recovering from drugs and alcohol. This led the Hunted team to comb through the pair's social media to find out their support network.

The participants got dropped off in the centre of Liverpool on a speedboat which landed at Canning Dock. The hunters, who circled the city in a helicopter, initially focussed on single contestant Loren Hannon, but when she gave them the slip, they saw Nick and Paul crouching for cover in a building's undercroft.

The pair got in a waiting Mercedes, which was then tracked, and things looked to be going well with Nick and Paul's friends from the car dressing similarly to them and running into station to try and deceive those looking at the station's CCTV.

This bought the duo a little time to make it to Norfolk after being picked up by another of their contacts, who was already of interest to the hunters.

Paul James and Nick Batchelor appear on Channel 4's The Hunted (6449395)
Paul James and Nick Batchelor appear on Channel 4's The Hunted (6449395)

He collected them from a caravan near Cromer and the pair thought if they chose A roads, they wouldn't show up on ANPR. But they were traceable and as they changed cars to get help from a female friend, it was all being followed.

She took them to her home near Bristol and left them there as she popped out for some shopping. As the programme ended a team of Hunters on the ground had found the property and were lurking outside.

As their friend returned a neighbour said they had seen a man lurking by the back gate of the home, but it is not yet known whether capture is imminent.

Marc Cananur in C4's Hunted. Picture Channel 4 (6331898)
Marc Cananur in C4's Hunted. Picture Channel 4 (6331898)

The Hunted team features Kent Police detective Marc Cananur, who is doing his best to ensure nobody makes it to the end of 25 days on the run.

The series continues at 9pm on Channel 4 on Thursday.

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