Jeremy Forrest trial: Maths teacher 'looked up' possible length of prison sentence

30-year-old accused of abducting 15-year-old schoolgirl to France

Jeremy Forrest, the maths teacher accused of abducting a schoolgirl in France, attempted to discover what jail sentence he would face for having sex with a child if he returned to Britain, a court heard.

Jurors at Lewes Crown Court were told that the married Forrest, 30, from Kent, had looked up what punishment he could face on returning to Britain while he and a 15-year-old girl were hiding in France last year.

A video of a police interview with the girl, now 16, was played to the court where the teenager said they both wrote journals to “document everything” while preparing CVs to apply for jobs on the run.  

She told detectives that Forrest, who denies child abduction charges, went busking and they both dyed their hair avoid detection as the police forces searched for them. She added: "He did look up how many years he would be in prison, not for taking me to France but what had previously happened, and he told me that."

Forming a relationship with the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was yesterday said to have been a “risk he was willing to take” at Bishop Bell C of E School in Eastbourne, East Sussex.

Forrest allegedly told the girl in France: “I'm going to prison, I'm going to get caught, I'm not going to see you.”

The teenager recounted how she and Forrest first kissed in a classroom: “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’.”

By September police had been alerted to the couple’s romance after a tip-off. An officer and social worker visited the girl’s home to speak to her about what was going on. Jurors heard yesterday that it was that visit that prompted the pair to flee on September 20 on a cross-channel ferry from Dover to Calais where they spent seven days on the run.

The girl said conversation was limited as they fled: “There wasn't much conversation, it was just focusing on getting to Dover and away from England. He was panicking a lot. Normally he was relaxed but his arms were tensing up and just the look on his face.”

The court heard that the girl had sex with Forrest in the spare room of his house, in a Premier Inn hotel and in his car. She said she “felt comfortable” with their sexual relationship, adding that she did not feel “like I’d done anything wrong”.

She added: “After having sex for the first time, it was like a pressure off. I think he was nervous as well. After a few times of having sex we got used to each other. We just liked being around each other.”

When asked by police if she thought or understood there to be a problem with the relationship she was having, she said there was "the teacher thing", adding: "And obviously the age as well."

She told officers that they had interacted on various social media websites, exchanging “sexual photos”.

The case has been adjourned until Friday.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most