Jeremy Forrest trial: Wife describes how ‘marriage was falling apart’ before husband fled to France with pupil

PUBLISHED: 10:45 19 June 2013 | UPDATED: 10:49 19 June 2013

Teacher Jeremy Forrest was found guilty by a jury at Lewes Crown Court.

Teacher Jeremy Forrest was found guilty by a jury at Lewes Crown Court.

PA Wire/Press Association Images

The wife of a Petts Wood teacher who allegedly abducted a schoolgirl to France has broken down in tears, as she told a court how their marriage was falling apart.

Lewes Crown Court has heard how the pupil was aged 15 when she started a sexual relationship with Jeremy Forrest, 30, of Chislehurst Road, after developing a crush on him at Bishop Bell C of E School in Eastbourne, East Sussex.

His wife Emily sobbed as she gave evidence and had to take a break when she said she was being distracted.

Judge Michael Lawson QC allowed Mrs Forrest to take a break to enable her to compose herself and she then continued to give her evidence from behind a screen.

The 32-year-old described how their relationship worsened during the last year.

She said that at the end of 2011: “He was staying out at night a lot and not telling me where he was going.

“It got worse in January, he was staying out a lot more, drinking a lot of alcohol, coming back in the morning not telling me where he was.

“It was hard.”

She said that he started using his Twitter account and she noticed that he was sending messages to pupils from his school.

Mrs Forrest said: “I texted him ‘Can you stop tweeting her please because I do not think it’s appropriate’.

“Teachers shouldn’t be tweeting kids, they shouldn’t even be friends with them.

“I didn’t think there was anything in it but I just thought he could get himself into trouble because his boss followed him on Twitter as well.

“He said it was fine and Twitter was a public forum so there was nothing wrong with it.”

She said they went on holiday together to Malaysia and Thailand during Easter and their relationship was good there before deteriorating after they returned.

She said they only had sex once between May and when he ran off in September.

She said: “He just became really, really distant and constantly on his mobile phone.

“He wouldn’t come up to sleep in the same bed as me, would go off at weekends, he would go out for a paper in the morning and wouldn’t come back until the evening.”

She said during the summer holidays he asked if she wanted to have children with him which she found “weird” because their relationship was not going well.

She said they met in 2007 and started going out in March that year before they got engaged in October 2009.

They went out for dinner together on September 19 - the day before he left for France - to the Prezzo restaurant in Lewes.

“He seemed a bit off, quiet, I was chatting lots about work, he seemed quiet.

“He said he wasn’t happy at work and he wanted to leave teaching.

“He wanted to set up a music cafe, it’s something he had mentioned before.

She said that when they got home: “I went to bed and Jeremy kind of tucked me in, he just told me he loved me.”

She denied a suggestion that in the summer of 2012 they were planning to separate and sell their home.

The prosecution is expected to close its case today. Forrest denies abduction.

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