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  1. ITV Report

Paedophile teacher jailed for five and a half years

Jeremy Forrest, who was jailed for five and a half years, being led out of Lewes Crown Court today. Photo: Chris Ison/PA Wire

Paedophile teacher Jeremy Forrest has been jailed for five and a half years on five charges of sexual activity with a child and one count of child abduction.

Forrest, 30, waived his rights under extradition laws which had prevented him from being tried for the sexual offences, paving the way for him to be sentenced for all six charges.

ITV News correspondent Emily Morgan reports:

The jury at Lewes Crown Court heard that Forrest had groomed the schoolgirl into having sex with him before he took her to France as he attempted to avoid being caught.

Judge Michael Lawson QC sentenced Forrest to four and a half years for the five offences of sexual activity with a child and one year for the offence of child abduction, which will run consecutively.

He told Forrest:

Your behaviour in this period has been motivated by self-interest and has hurt and damaged many people - her family, your family, staff and pupils at the school and respect for teachers everywhere.

It has damaged you too but that was something you were prepared to risk. You now have to pay that price.

It was your duty as a teacher to stop her infatuation, not to fuel it.

Judge Lawson also imposed a Sexual Offences Prevention Order on Forrest, banning him from working or volunteering with children and unsupervised contact with children forever. He was also ordered to sign on the Sex Offenders Register.

Jeremy Forrest pictured with the 15-year-old schoolgirl he abducted. Credit: ITV News

Prosecution lawyer Richard Barton read a victim impact statement provided by the girl's mother.

She said in Forrest had "robbed her daughter of her childhood" and stressed that she and her daughter had fallen out since.

"I feel the [daughter] I knew is dead and it upsets me beyond words", she continued. "I feel completely useless most of the time. I feel like I have failed as a parent as I cannot understand how someone could do this to my child and I had no idea".

Forrest's family said they hoped the case would lead to a full examination of what went wrong.

In a statement, read by solicitor Henrietta Ronson, his family described the case as a "sorry episode for all concerned" and they said Forrest "is very sorry for his actions".

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