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Paedophile Jeremy Forrest jailed for five and a half years after fleeing to France with schoolgirl

PUBLISHED: 12:41 21 June 2013 | UPDATED: 13:10 21 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

Teacher Jeremy Forrest has been jailed for five and a half years after fleeing to France with a schoolgirl.

The 30-year-old, of Chislehurst Road, Petts Wood, pleaded guilty to five charges of sexual activity with a child at Lewes Crown Court this afternoon.

He was convicted of child abduction yesterday by a jury who took less than two hours to make their decision.

The trial at Lewes Crown Court heard how the pupil had just turned 15 when Forrest started having sex with her, having groomed the vulnerable teenager after she developed a crush on him at Bishop Bell C of E School in Eastbourne, East Sussex.

Fearing they were about to be discovered, Forrest, of Chislehurst Road, Petts Wood, booked them on a cross-Channel ferry from Dover to Calais on September 20 last year before spending seven days on the run in France.

The trial heard that Forrest would pick the girl up in her school uniform and would have sex with her in his car, in hotels and at his marital home.

Richard Barton, prosecuting, said Forrest’s actions were an abuse of trust and that he could be labelled a “paedophile” who had groomed the vulnerable teenager.

He said to the jury: “That is not an inappropriate label for him. It is about his desires to have that young sexual flesh, to satisfy his own carnal lusts.”

Mr Barton continued: “You may feel it had nothing to do with her, it was to do with him, with his desires. You may feel he is a man who is flattered by the attention of very young vulnerable girls.”

He continued: “What is it that Jeremy Forrest finds attractive about young-looking vulnerable women?

“There is a word for it, it’s called grooming - being caring, being kind, being close, gaining confidence, gaining the trust of that person and then you can do what you want to do with them.”

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