Jeremy Forrest: police probe possible “collusion”
Maths teacher Jeremy Forrest and the pupil he abducted to France could face charges of perverting the course of justice after he admitted child sex offences and was jailed for five-and-a-half years.
Jeremy Forrest was jailed for five-and-a-half years for child sex offences and child abduction Photo: Getty Images / Julia Quenzler / Handout CCTV still
By Victoria Ward6:04PM BST 21 Jun 2013
The 30-year-old was told he had been motivated by nothing more than “self interest” and had abused his position of trust. He was banned from working with children for life. [CEL III note: “If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth”—reference one M.P.J. Goebbels, a noted early 20th Century German Cabinet Minister and expert on lies and truth; otherwise known as “sayin’ it’s true don’t make it true].
Judge Michael Lawson QC questioned the evidence the schoolgirl gave in court as it varied from her original police interviews. [CEL: Does Britain have a chapter of “Jail-for-Judges”, I wonder?]
He accused Forrest of pleading not guilty to child abduction in order to force his victim to give evidence and said she had “clearly” been coached what to say in order to back up his “spurious” defence.
The judge asked Richard Barton, prosecuting, if there was any evidence of collusion and was told there was “material to suggest indirect communications” through a third party and that the police had been informed.
Sussex Police confirmed it was investigating the claims.
Jeremy Forrest ‘sorry for his actions’ 21 Jun 2013
Forrest jailed for five and a half years after affair with schoolgirl 21 Jun 2013
Jeremy Forrest: victim’s mother says daughter she knew is ‘dead’ 21 Jun 2013
Lewes Crown Court sentencing remarks 21 Jun 2013
School knew of Forrest rumours but failed to prevent abduction 20 Jun 2013
A jury found Forrest guilty of child abduction on Thursday but he was not originally charged with sex offences for legal reasons linked to his extradition.
However, as he awaited sentence, it emerged that he had waived his rights under extradition laws which prevented him from being tried for other offences and five new sex offence charges were put to him on a separate indictment.
Lewes Crown Court heard that he groomed the schoolgirl over a period of seven months. He preyed on her vulnerabilities and took advantage of the trust she placed in him, kissing her in his classroom when she was still 14 before regularly taking her to local hotels for sex. He fled with her to Bordeaux last September when he feared he was about to get caught.
Judge Lawson told him he should have dealt with the girl’s obvious crush on him when colleagues first warned him about it last February.
He also criticised Forrest for repeatedly lying to staff at Bishop Bell School in Eastbourne and to the girl’s mother.
“It was your duty as a teacher to stop the infatuation not fuel it,” he said. “You subjected her family to appalling distress. There was no concern for her safety or welfare.
“Your behaviour has been motivated by self interest.”
He told Forrest his actions had hurt and damaged many people as well as the respect for teachers everywhere.
“It’s a huge privilege for an adult to be permitted to teach children,” he added.
“An inspiring teacher can lift a child to levels that neither they nor their parents ever dreamt of.
“It clear you had both the personality and the talent to do that for those you taught.
“But you chose to ignore the cardinal rule of teaching that you should do so in an environment that is utterly safe and with no hidden agendas.”
Forrest showed no emotion as he was sentenced to four-and-a-half years for sex offences and one year for abduction, to run consecutively, a punishment the judge said would send a “clear signal” to others.
Despite his conviction, it has been alleged that Forrest is unrepentant and intends to be reunited with the teenager on his release from prison.
The 16-year-old girl insists she still loves him and will wait for him.
A family friend said: “They still love each other. It has survived his arrest and trial and everything else. Once he is released he plans to go straight to her and restart their relationship.
“After she was brought home to Britain the schoolgirl wrote to his parents to apologise for what happened. She said she felt safer with Jeremy than she ever did at home, at school or with her friends.”