Police had halted the investigation into a maths teacher’s affair with a teenage pupil hours before he allegedly abducted her to France, a court heard on Friday. This is from the Telegraph…
Jeremy Forrest, 30, fled abroad with the schoolgirl last September when they thought their illicit affair had been discovered and panicked.
They were on the run for eight days, sparking an international manhunt, before they were eventually captured in Bordeaux and Forrest was arrested on suspicion of child abduction.
Rumours about the pair’s relationship had swirled around Bishop Bell Church of England School in Eastbourne for seven months before they ran away, a jury heard.
Forrest was confronted about the allegations seven times but repeatedly denied anything untoward had happened, became tearful and accused the girl of lying.
Alicja Bobela, the assistant head, told Lewes Crown Court that Sussex Police contacted her in September after receiving a tip off that Forrest had sent intimate photographs of himself to the girl’s phone and confirmed that the phone would be analysed for evidence.
“They (subsequently) left a message for us to say that there was no evidence on (the girl’s) phone so they were not going to seize Jeremy’s phone,” she said.
“We were left with the idea that we had to follow up the investigation. We did not know where to begin really.”
However, by that point the girl had told Forrest her phone had been seized and they were convinced the game was up.
Forrest booked tickets on a cross-Channel ferry and they absconded that evening.
The court heard that Forrest had been given frequent warnings about the teenager’s infatuation in the months leading up to their disappearance.