Jeremy Forrest trial: Teacher's 'multiple sex sessions'
- 17 June 2013
- From the section Sussex
A schoolgirl and her married maths teacher exchanged explicit text messages and had "multiple" sex sessions, a court has heard.
The girl was 15 when she started having a sexual relationship with 30-year-old Jeremy Forrest, after developing a crush on him at school in East Sussex.
She told Lewes Crown Court he travelled with her to France because he feared she might commit suicide.
Mr Forrest has denied a charge of child abduction.
The girl, now 16, said she had been experiencing personal problems in the months leading up to the relationship with Mr Forrest, a teacher at Bishop Bell C of E School in Eastbourne.
They included her mother going through a divorce and then finding a new partner and becoming pregnant.
The court heard the pair agreed to go to France after the girl had her phone seized by police investigating rumours of a relationship between them.
Mr Forrest booked them on a Channel ferry on 20 September before they spent seven days on the run in France.
Sex in school uniform
A friend of the girl, speaking in a video recorded police interview, said messages between the pair started off with Mr Forrest sending compliments such as "you're beautiful".
She said as the relationship developed the messages became more explicit.
She added: "There were some sexual ones, they were quite graphic things, it's really like cringy stuff.
"A lot of stuff about sexual things they wanted to do,"
The girl would reply in a similar way, she said.
"I think she kind of liked it, so she did play along with it, she said the same sort of things back to him," the friend said.
She said she had tried to stop the relationship, adding: "I had called him a paedophile to [a friend] but it got to a stage where I couldn't stop it."
She said the girl had told her she and Mr Forrest would go to hotels together.
In the taped interview, she said: "She did like say they had sex, it was multiple times in one night."
The friend added that the girl would meet Forrest in her school uniform and they would have sex in his car.
'I was desperate'
The girl earlier told the court she had planned to run away but Mr Forrest agreed to go with her to prevent her from getting into danger.
"He tried to persuade me not to run away," she said.
"I said I was going and nobody was going to stop me. I was very determined and once I had an idea in my head nobody was going to stop me, not Jeremy, not anybody."
Describing her mood at the time, she said: "I felt very low indeed, I didn't know what to do, I was very desperate."
When asked if she felt suicidal, the girl, who chose to give her evidence in court rather than by videolink, said: "Yes".
'Manipulated by police'
The girl told the court that Mr Forrest repeatedly asked her to return home but she refused.
"Numerous times on the way to France he would say he would give me the money so I could go home, but I didn't want to go home."
The girl said Mr Forrest was in tears as they drove.
She said she felt she had to run away because she did not want her mother to find out about a previous relationship as well as other personal issues she had been going through.
Speaking of her relationship with her mother, she said: "I didn't get on with her very well, I didn't like her, she wasn't supportive.
"When there's a divorce going on, the attention in the family is on the parents, not the children."
She said she also felt that her mother might throw her out of home.
The girl said she started to develop a crush on Mr Forrest after he helped her with her personal problems.
She said she began to confide in him during a school trip to Los Angeles in February 2012 and that after he began to give her advice and support, her attendance and grades at school had improved.
The girl said she had previously fallen in with a bad crowd and would take drugs and get into trouble.
She said that on the way home from LA she had held hands with Mr Forrest because she was having an anxiety attack because of her fear of flying.
"It wasn't hand-holding, it was squeezing hands. It wasn't affectionate, it was more caring."
The girl said she felt manipulated by the police after she was brought back to England from France.
She said she felt "if I didn't comply with what they (the police) were doing, I faced arrest".
The trial continues.