British teacher found guilty of abducting schoolgirl

Last Updated: Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 20:38

London: Married British teacher Jeremy Forrest was on Thursday found guilty of abducting a 15-year-old schoolgirl after they fled together to France.
A jury found 30-year-old Forrest guilty over the September episode in which the pair spent seven days on the run, sparking an international manhunt.

The prosecution had labelled the mathematics teacher a "paedophile" who had "groomed" the vulnerable teenager after the pair met at a school in southeast England.

Their sexual relationship began shortly after the pupil`s 15th birthday, Lewes Crown Court heard, with regular trysts in his car, in hotels and at the home he shared with his wife.

The two fled Britain on a cross-Channel ferry to Calais in France when they feared the affair was about to be exposed, leading police to launch a high-profile international search.

Police apprehended them a week later as Forrest was trying to seek work in France.

As the jury returned to deliver its verdict Thursday after a two-week trial, Forrest told the girl "I love you".

She burst into tears as the guilty verdict was announced, and told him "I`m sorry" as he was led away to the cells.

Forrest`s defence lawyer had argued he felt he had to run away with the girl because he feared she would commit suicide.

AFP



First Published: Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 20:38

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