UK

Jeremy Forrest 'Desired Young Sexual Flesh' Prosecution Tells Court

19/06/2013 15:08 BST

A teacher who allegedly abducted a schoolgirl to France will not give evidence in his defence.

Jeremy Forrest, 30, of Chislehurst Road, Petts Wood, south east London, denies an offence of child abduction at Lewes Crown Court.

As the prosecution invited the jury to find him guilty Richard Barton said: "You may feel that this is a musician who is ultimately unable to face the music, you may feel he is a maths teacher whose story doesn't add up."

jeremy forrest

A court sketch of Jeremy Forrrest

Barton told the jury Forrest could be considered as a "paedophile" who had "groomed" the schoolgirl.

He said: "You do not have to decide whether he was a paedophile; you may consider, in the context of what he did, that is not an inappropriate label for him.

"It is about his desires to have that young sexual flesh, to satisfy his own carnal lusts."

Barton continued: "You may feel it had nothing to do with her, it was to do with him, with his desires.

"You may feel he is a man who is flattered by the attention of very young, vulnerable girls.

"It is interesting to note the woman he chose to marry is a very young-looking, petite woman with her own vulnerabilities.

"What is that Jeremy Forrest finds attractive about young-looking, vulnerable women?

"There is a word for it. It's called grooming - being caring, being kind, being close, gaining confidence, gaining the trust of that person and then you can do what you want to do with them."

The trial has heard the pupil was aged 15 when she started a sexual relationship with Forrest after developing a crush on him at Bishop Bell CofE School in Eastbourne, East Sussex.

Fearing they were about to be exposed, Forrest booked them on a cross-Channel ferry from Dover to Calais on September 20 last year before spending seven days on the run in France.

Ronald Jaffa, defending, told the jury that Forrest had gone with the girl to France because he feared she was suicidal.

He said that this was a "realistic situation" and the defendant had acted to ensure her well-being.

He said that it was not a case of Romeo and Juliet.

He said: "In that play the lovers died in the end, a pair of star-crossed lovers is the way Shakespeare put it.

"Fortunately Jeremy chose to go to see her and go with her, what could have happened if he had not?

"What would it matter if she had money or not, she could have hitch-hiked, she could have ended up in a city alone, desperate, suicidal."

He added: "She was very desperate, she had suicidal thoughts and she was assertive.

"If he had not taken her, the alternative consequences were likely to be much worse.

"If he had taken her back to her mother or the police, no-one would be able to stop her, it may indeed have been the catalyst for worse consequences."

Judge Lawson adjourned the case until tomorrow when he will sum up the case before sending the jury out to consider its verdict.