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Court hears how Jeremy Forrest 'researched jail time after having sex with pupil' as abduction case continues

PUBLISHED: 17:16 12 June 2013 | UPDATED: 17:16 12 June 2013

Teacher Jeremy Forrest arriving at Lewes Crown Court.

Teacher Jeremy Forrest arriving at Lewes Crown Court.

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Petts Wood teacher Jeremy Forrest looked up how long he could face behind bars for having sex with a child as details emerged of their days in France, a court heard earlier.

As the girl’s police interview progressed, she said she was aware she was under the age of consent but that the age different between them did not matter.

After they started their sexual relationship, the girl said she was “not feeling guilty or feeling like I’d done anything wrong” and added that she “felt comfortable”.

She said Forrest always wore a condom, saying that was “just a given”.

Trying to remember the first time she had sex with Forrest, how many times they had intercourse on that occasion and what they did afterwards, she said: “I think it was twice but I can’t remember.

“We just went back to what we were doing before - watching TV. It was just normal.”

The girl said she and Forrest were looking forward to being “close and intimate” and said he was attentive afterwards, “checking to make sure I was OK”.

Speaking about how Forrest behaved with her in the period after they first had sex, she said: “He was nice. He was normal. He was exactly how he’d been the whole way through.

“After having sex for the first time, it was like a pressure off. I think he was nervous as well.

“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.”

She spoke about events leading up to their disappearance to France and the call she received from her “calm” sounding mother who asked her to come home following a visit by the authorities.

Immediately suspecting that the visit from a police and child protection officer related to their relationship, she went to see Forrest who was doing a revision class.

She said: “I was standing there shaking and was really concerned and panicking.” She said Forrest told her to “tell them what you need to say”.

When she got home, her phone was confiscated by police for analysis and the girl said she denied everything as she did not want to get Forrest into trouble.

“It was much easier to say nothing and deny it all rather than sit there and drag it all out. The child protection officer and the police officer asked questions about sexual contact, pictures and texting and I denied everything.

“The first thing I did after they left was to pack a bag and that’s what I did. I was thinking of running away by myself. I packed clothes, underwear, toiletries and pyjamas and that was it.”

The girl said she was going to leave that night but then decided to think things through. The plan to go to France was “kind of my suggestion” and she said she encouraged Forrest to go with her.

Forrest took out money the night before their disappearance and he said he would take some more out later. She said they had spoken about running away together before but only in a “jokey” sense.

Ferry tickets were booked for them under his and his wife’s name before they headed to the Port of Dover. En route, conversation was limited in the car, she said.

“There wasn’t much conversation, it was just focusing on getting to Dover and away from England,” she said. “He was panicking a lot. Normally he was relaxed but his arms were tensing up and just the look on his face.

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