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Contact ban between teen and jailed Eastbourne teacher
A schoolgirl who fled to France with her maths teacher has been left “devastated” after she was banned from contacting him.
The girl, who was 15 when she ran away with Jeremy Forrest, has made several attempts to contact him since he was jailed in April this year.
But now, as part of an ongoing serious case review, it has been decided there should be no contact between the couple.
A report in a national newspaper over the weekend claimed the girl had been prevented from seeing Forrest until she turned 18 and became a legal adult.
But a spokeswoman for East Sussex County Council said the ongoing ban would be “kept under review”.
Forrest, 31, was jailed for five-and-a-half years at Lewes Crown Court after being convicted of abduction and admitting a further five counts of sexual activity with a child.
His behaviour had subjected the girl’s family to “appalling distress” and driven a wedge between the girl and her family, the judge added.
But in June it was revealed Forrest plans to marry the schoolgirl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and her father told newspapers he would be “proud” to walk her down the aisle.
The girl wrote to Forrest’s parents to declare her love for their son and announced she intended to visit him in prison.
She also wrote to the governors of Lewes prison, where Forrest began his sentence, and Ashfield, near Bristol, where he is currently detained, to try to visit him – but all her requests were rejected.
Now it appears the girl is unlikely to be able to visit, write to or talk to the former maths teacher until his expected release in 2015.
Forrest’s father Jim, a retired IT director, told the Mail on Sunday the ruling had left the girl “devastated and distraught”.
But an East Sussex County Council spokeswoman said “Jeremy Forrest is a convicted sex offender, and as such it’s entirely appropriate that any contact between him and his victim should be controlled and closely monitored.
“The conditions which have been put in place are not the decision of any one individual but are the result of a multi-agency approach with involvement at senior management level.
“We are satisfied that our staff have acted appropriately and have followed the strict safeguarding procedures we have in place.
“Our primary concern is, as it has been all along, the safety and well-being of this vulnerable teenager.”
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