Jeremy Forrest trial: No action to be taken against woman over perverting the course of justice claim

 

No further action will be taken against a woman who was suspected of trying to pervert the course of justice in connection with the case of jailed teacher Jeremy Forrest.

Police investigated after concerns were raised over whether the schoolgirl at the centre of the case had been contacted by someone to alter how she gave evidence at Forrest's trial earlier this year.

A jury heard how married Forrest, 31, spent seven days on the run in France with the girl, who was then aged 15 and his pupil at Bishop Bell C of E School in Eastbourne, East Sussex.

At the end of the trial, Judge Michael Lawson QC questioned the evidence given by the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, as it appeared to vary from her original police interviews and fitted with his defence that he took her to France to prevent her from succumbing to suicidal tendencies.

The judge told Scots-born Forrest: "You have contested the abduction charge, raising a spurious defence so that she had to give evidence, evidence very different in content from her original account and designed to support it."

Forrest was jailed for five-and-a-half years at Lewes Crown Court in June for child abduction and five counts of sexual activity with a child.

At the end of the sentencing hearing, Judge Lawson asked prosecutor Richard Barton if there was evidence of collusion.

He said: "Is there material to suggest communication, indirect communication between the parties?"

Sussex Police went on to arrest a 35-year-old woman from Hertfordshire on suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

A police spokeswoman said: "No further action will be taken against a 35-year-old woman from Hertfordshire who was arrested on suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice in relation to the Jeremy Forrest case."