Teacher jailed for abducting pupil (15) plans to marry her after he is released
THE TEACHER jailed for grooming and abducting one of his teenage pupils is planning to marry her when he is released from prison, his family said.
Jeremy Forrest received a five-and-a-half-year sentence on Friday after being convicted of running away to France and repeatedly having sex with a 15-year-old schoolgirl.
But now his sister has revealed that the former maths teacher (30), who is already married, still loves the teenager and intends to wed her when he is freed from prison.
Carrie Hanspaul (33) also revealed that the teenage girl, who is now 16, had written to their parents, Jim and Julie Forrest, assuring them that she intended to stand by their son. The note described Forrest as "wonderful" and went on: "I do believe that some things are worth fighting for. For now, though, I'm going to concentrate on working hard to get the future both me and Jeremy want."
Mrs Hanspaul said if the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, chose to continue her relationship with Forrest, she would be welcomed into their family. Forrest's parents have said he was unhappy in his marriage to Emily, a 32-year-old photographer, claiming that he was depressed and in a "dark place" when he began a relationship with his pupil.
His father Jim (59) a retired IT worker said: "As parents there have been very tough moments but family is very important to us and we're behind Jeremy. He has been stupid – obviously running away with a pupil is not on; he was in a very dark place then, he was desperate. He is much better now."
Forrest's mother, Julie, said: "I'm not excusing his behaviour, and he has to accept blame, but there were other factors. Emily was difficult for Jeremy to deal with." She added: "When Jeremy started working at another school and things became difficult he needed support, but Emily wasn't there for him."
Mrs Hanspaul also defended her brother against allegations that he was a predatory paedophile who had groomed the pupil to sate his physical desires.
She said: "Take the age gap on its own – away from her being underage – if she was 30 and he was aged 45, there are a lot of relationships like that.
"I don't see it as predatory or grooming. It's not going to be a normal relationship, as he's in prison and she isn't, so they're not going to be going out or anything."
She added: "It's hard – girls do fall in love at 15. They can lose their innocence if you like, with someone of their own age. Jeremy didn't set out to do that. They really did fall in love."
As Forrest was found guilty of abduction last week he mouthed the words "I love you" at the girl, prompting her to reply: "I'm sorry."
Mrs Hanspaul says she has been granted permission to visit him in prison and intends to do so as soon as possible. (©Daily Telegraph London)