Schoolgirl abducted by her teacher: I don't regret my 'dangerous infatuation'

Schoolgirl abducted by her teacher: I don't regret my 'dangerous infatuation'
File photo.

A schoolgirl who was groomed and abducted by her maths teacher has said she does not regret the "dangerous infatuation".

The girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was groomed by married teacher Jeremy Forrest when she was 15.

Forrest, who was 31 at the time, was jailed for five-and-a-half-years in June 2013 for child abduction and five charges of sexual activity with a child.

The pair ran away to Bordeaux, France, in September 2012, fearing their sexual relationship was about to be exposed.

In an interview with Cosmopolitan Magazine, the girl, now 19, said she had spoken to Forrest since his release from prison via Facebook, and that he sounded "the same and, importantly, happy".

She added: "Of course we knew it was illegal for us to be together, but we genuinely believed that if we stuck it out for a tricky few years, eventually we could return home and people would accept our relationship."

The victim said she lived in "constant fear" of being discovered, adding that teachers at the Bishop Bell C of E school in Eastbourne, East Sussex, began to suspect something was going on.

When the police became aware the pair were exchanging text messages, Forrest drove the pair to Dover, where they boarded a ferry for France.

She said: "We were oblivious to the media frenzy back home, to the headlines screeching, 'Paedophile teacher abducts innocent schoolgirl'."

The pair were found after a week where Forrest was charged and went on to face trial.

She said: "Right up until the very last moment I thought things might be OK, and that people would understand how we'd fallen in love, but when he was found guilty of child abduction and sex with a minor, I broke down in the dock beside his family.

"Do I regret my relationship with Jeremy? I can't say I do, but I now recognise it for what it was: a dangerous infatuation. One that cost both of us dearly."

PA

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