'Abduction' case girl tells of kiss
A schoolgirl allegedly abducted to France by her married teacher after police found out about their relationship has told how they first kissed in a classroom.
The girl was 14 at the time of the clinch with 30-year-old Jeremy Forrest, which took place after they had been tweeting and texting regularly. In the days leading up to the kiss, the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said she attended Bishop Bell C of E School in Eastbourne, East Sussex, early specifically to see him.
In a videoed police interview played at Lewes Crown Court, the girl, now 16, said: "I do remember being in his room and it was just me and him. He said 'I really want to kiss you' and I said 'I really want to'. It got to the point where there was only so much of a friendship you could have before it developed into something else." She went on: "It ended up being in his classroom."
As the relationship turned sexual two months later after she had turned 15, the girl said Forrest knew what the consequences would be for him - and that he could face prison.
She said in the interview, dated October 3 last year: "He told me that he didn't want to take advantage of me, and I just didn't have a problem with it any way. It was what I wanted to do because of how much I liked him. I didn't give it a second thought. Obviously I was worried about it and I spoke to my friends about it."
She added: "He knew he would go to prison, lose his job and not work with children again, so he was aware and that made me feel better. There was no naivety about it and it was what I wanted, and I probably encouraged it. We would bring it up and I would say 'Yeah, I really want to'."
The court has heard police were alerted to their relationship following a tip-off. When a police officer and a social worker visited the girl's home to speak to her about what was going on, they decided to flee the next day, September 20. Scots-born Forrest, of Chislehurst Road, Petts Wood, Kent, denies child abduction.
The girl spoke of the time she first stayed over at Forrest's house after telling her mother she was having a sleepover with a friend - but said nothing sexual happened. "He picked me up after school - I think it was a Friday - and everything we planned was what happened. We didn't do anything sexual. We slept in the same bed but that's all it was. I told my friends that nothing was going to happen and I think Jeremy wanted to stick to that as well." She added: "We watched TV and he made me dinner."
She said she could not remember the first time they had sex but that they did it in "a few hotels" when she would tell her mother she was staying with a friend.
"The lead-up was that, just like we had said, we wanted to take things further and it was a natural thing. We had doubts. He felt so guilty about it. We shouldn't have even been texting, let alone having a sexual relationship."