Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

I still love jailed teacher - girl

Teacher Jeremy Forrest, who was found guilty at Lewes Crown Court of abducting a 15-year-old girl

The schoolgirl abducted by paedophile teacher Jeremy Forrest told how she still loves him and said she had been old enough to make decisions for herself.

Forrest, 30, was jailed for five and a half years for child abduction and five charges of sexual activity with a child.

The girl apologised for fleeing with him to France when she was 15, but said her feelings towards Forrest had not changed.

She told The Sun: "I would like to make it clear that despite the outcome of the trial, my feelings towards Jeremy remain the same, and regardless of unfair and inaccurate speculation, those feelings will not change.

"I am very sorry to those who have been profoundly affected by the things that I have instigated and the consequences of my actions."

The girl thanked her friends and family for their support and for respecting "the decisions that I have made throughout this process, of which they know I was fully capable of making".

During the eight-day trial at Lewes Crown Court the jury was told that Forrest groomed the schoolgirl into having sex with him before taking her to France as he attempted to avoid being caught.

The girl's mother told the court "the (daughter) I knew is dead and it upsets me beyond words".

In a statement she said: "I feel completely useless most of the time. I feel like I have failed as a parent as I cannot understand how someone could do this to my child and I had no idea."

She continued: "I feel like the worst mother in the world, whatever anyone else says it doesn't matter. Someone has got my child and I never saw it coming and never saw it as it was happening. I feel like part of (her) childhood has been robbed from me - the last day at school, dressing her up in a party dress for the school prom, all taken from us."

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