The sister of jailed teacher Jeremy Forrest has told Daybreak that his family would stand by him if he chose to marry the 15-year-old he was charged with abducting.
Carrie Hanspaul said: “If they’ve managed to survive all of this and if he stays in there [prison] all that time – she’ll be 21, he’ll be 35, there are age gaps like that.
“That then would become a normal relationship and we would obviously support them if that’s what they choose to do.”
Jeremy Forrest's sister has told Daybreak that her family are "trying not to judge" her brother or his actions.
Forrest was sentenced last week to five and half years for five charges of sexual activity with a child and one count of child abduction.
Speaking about her brother's time in prison, Carrie Hanspaul said: "He's been doing brilliantly, he's done a lot of work with a lot of other prisoners".
The sister of jailed teacher Jeremy Forrest has told Daybreak that paedophile is the "wrong word" to use for her brother.
Forrest was jailed for five and half years last week on five charges of sexual activity with a child and one count of child abduction.
Carrie Hanspaul said: "She was 15, she's not 11. Underage, but the general definition of a paedophile is somebody who is interested in pre-pubescent girls generally under the age of 11.
"I think it's wrong that that's what he's been branded," she added.
Ms Hanspaul said both families had "been through enough pain" and that when the press referred to her brother as a paedophile it made "an already difficult situation worse".
Paedophile teacher Jeremy Forrest has declared that he wants to marry the schoolgirl he abducted and her father said he would be "proud" to walk her down the aisle.
The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has written to Forrest's parents telling them that she loves him and plans to visit him in prison.
Forrest's sister Carrie Hanspaul, 33, told the Mail on Sunday that during a prison visit he told his parents: "I love her and we want to get married."
The teenage girl's father told the Sun on Sunday: "It would be a dream for her to settle down and marry the man she loves. She would want to do it all properly.
"I'd be proud to walk my daughter down the aisle with the man she loves. I honestly believe he loves my daughter and she's besotted with him. She has made it clear she wants a future with him. Hopefully with good behaviour he may be freed on parole after a few years.
"If they have a future together that's fine by me and they would have my blessing. I should hate him for what he's done but I don't - in fact, I'd like to meet him. I'd like to visit him in prison, shake his hand and say, 'Thanks for looking after my daughter'. I would be nice to him."
The schoolgirl abducted by paedophile teacher Jeremy Forrest said her "feelings towards him remains the same".
The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said she had been old enough to make decisions for herself but apologised for fleeing to France with him when she was 15.
She told The Sun: "I would like to make it clear that despite the outcome of the trial, my feelings towards Jeremy remain the same, and regardless of unfair and inaccurate speculation, those feelings will not change.
"I am very sorry to those who have been profoundly affected by the things that I have instigated and the consequences of my actions."
The girl, now 16, thanked her friends and family for their support and for respecting "the decisions that I have made throughout this process, of which they know I was fully capable of making".
Forrest, 30, was jailed for five and a half years yesterday for child abduction and five charges of sexual activity with a child.
Teacher Jeremy Forrest was charged with five counts of sexual activity with a child after he reconsidered his decision to fight extradition proceedings.
The extradition fight previously prevented Forrest from being charged with the offences.
Lewes Crown Court was told that Forrest was originally extradited on the child abduction charge because police only had evidence of this offence at the time he was caught in France.
Police wanted to add the five charges, but had to gain permission from the Bordeaux court that approved the extradition.
Forrest had hoped to rely on the defence that in France the age of consent is 15.
A reporting restriction had prevented any publicity of these matters. This was only lifted when Forrest was charged.
Police have released this mugshot of Jeremy Forrest, the teacher who was today sentenced to five and a half years in prison for the abducting a 15-year-old girl and for sexual offences with a child.
Nigel Pilkington of the Crown Prosecution Service has said he is pleased that Jeremy Forrest was "sentenced for the full extent of his criminality".
He said that the fact that Forrest leaded guilty to the sexual charges against him "thereby sparing his victim and her family from having to go through another trial".
"We hope that,with today’s sentence and the conclusion of legal proceedings, she [the 16-year-old] and herfamily can now move on with their lives," he added.
A spokesman for Sussex Police has said that Jeremy Forrest "grossly abused" the trust placed in him as a teacher.
He said: "He was in a position of responsibility, authority and trust over children in his care - something parents and the wider community expect to be upheld at all costs".
He added that the police investigation was opened "the moment concerns were reported" and did not close until police knew the pupil was safe.