Jury hears from 'abducted girl'

Teacher Jeremy Forrest arriving at Lewes Crown Court where he is accused of abducting a pupil

Teacher Jeremy Forrest arriving at Lewes Crown Court where he is accused of abducting a pupil

First published in National News © by

A jury is to hear more from a police interview with a schoolgirl allegedly abducted by a married teacher after they formed an intimate relationship and fled to France.

The pair had sex at Jeremy Forrest's marital home while his wife was away and in hotels while the 15-year-old girl told her mother she was staying with friends, jurors were told.

Fearing they were about to be exposed, 30-year-old Forrest booked them on a cross-Channel ferry to Calais before spending seven days on the run, it is alleged.

Jurors heard that their relationship could not be compared with Romeo and Juliet but amounted to Forrest committing a "gross and long-term breach of trust". Scots-born Forrest, of Chislehurst Road, Petts Wood, Kent, denies child abduction.

Lewes Crown Court heard that keen musician Forrest taught maths at Bishop Bell C of E School in Eastbourne, East Sussex, and that his marriage to his wife Emily was strained.

On the run in France, he and the girl dyed their hair to try to avoid detection, Forrest set up a French email account and bought a French mobile phone, and bogus CVs were drafted in an internet cafe to help land them work.

Prosecutor Richard Barton said Forrest used the alias Jack Dean and the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, gave herself a bogus name on the false CVs.

But an English bar owner to whom Forrest had applied for work recognised the pair from media reports, leading eventually to them being caught in the south-western port city of Bordeaux on September 28 last year.

The girl described how she "panicked" when she realised police and other authorities had been made aware of their relationship. In a videoed police interview played in court from October 3 last year, she said: "I wanted to leave because I didn't want to face my mum when she found out."

She said she knew Forrest was married because he wore a wedding ring but she started getting feelings for him following a school trip to Los Angeles. In the interview, she said: "I found him attractive, I had had boyfriends and crushes on other people but he was older, it was a lot more different, I liked that he was older and mature."

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