“I really want to kiss you,” teacher told pupil at Eastbourne school

Teacher Jeremy Forrest arriving at Lewes Crown Court
Teacher Jeremy Forrest arriving at Lewes Crown Court

A teenage girl described in a police interview how her first kiss had been with her maths teacher in his classroom and how he had researched his likely prison sentence before the pair fled to France.

Jeremy Forrest, 30, formerly of Broyleside Cottages, Ringmer, taught at Bishop Bell Church of England School in Eastbourne.

He is on trial at Lewes Crown Court and denies one count of child abduction.

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said: “Our texts gradually became more flirtatious, I think it was the beginning of May. I liked him so much, I did not think he would like me back – that would be the same about anyone, not just a teacher.

“I remember being in his classroom and he said ‘I really want to kiss you’ and I said ‘I really want to kiss you too’ because I did, I did not feel forced into it.

“In the last week of May we began a relationship.”

The girl said she would come in to school early to see Forrest and there were constant texts sent between them. She said the kiss was planned to happen in his classroom.

She added: “In the week that led up to us kissing, I had gone to his classroom every morning – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, but because there were people about, it never really happened. On the Thursday, obviously we did kiss – that became a regular thing, all the way up to the summer holidays. I think we met up a few times before the holidays, we always used to sit in his car but that was just to talk.”

The girl went on to describe how their relationship became sexual.

She said: “In July we had spoken about having a sexual relationship and whether it was what we both wanted and whether it was the right thing to do.”

When asked when the first time she had sex with Forrest was, she replied: “It was the first week of the summer holidays because it was planned. We had said we wanted to take things a bit further but we both had doubts.

“He felt so guilty about it, he did not want to take advantage of me but it was definitely what I wanted, when you have a crush on a teacher, you do not expect this outcome.

“There was no naivety, I was sure this was what I wanted, I was the one pushing it. After we had sex, there was more like a pressure off because I think he was nervous as well.

“We did have sex and stuff like that in hotels and that was around August. I can understand by law it was wrong but our relationship didn’t feel wrong from a personal opinion.”

The girl told police they had had sex at Forrest’s home, in his car and at hotels including Premier Inns in Polegate and Hastings.

When asked what she thought about the consequences of the relationship, she said: “It was something we were aware of, obviously I am under the age of consent.

I have spoken to Jeremy about it and he said he was fine with it, obviously he knows what could happen – he could lose his job but that was just a risk he was willing to take. He knew he could face years in prison, he had looked it up.”

The girl said with rumours circulating at school, she decided to run away.

She said: “It was my suggestion, I said to him ‘I’m running away whether you’re coming with me or not’ I was encouraging him to come with me but I knew that was going to be his reaction.”

They took a ferry from Dover to France and drove to Paris.

They dumped his car and caught a train to Bordeaux.

During the next few days, the pair made false CVs in attempt to find work and Forrest, who had been in a band, did some busking.

They were eventually caught after a bar owner Forrest had approached for work recognised them and called police.

The trial continues.