Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Hysterical PC Nonsense About A Young Couple In Love

with 83 comments

I really am sick to death of all the pious wailing and weeping about Megan Stammers running off with her teacher, Jeremy Forrest.

Now, of course, a teacher should not be engaging in a relationship with one of his pupils.  Megan is also beneath the age of consent but the ludicrous, preposterous idea that he is responsible for “child abduction” shows just how easily the police can be swayed by media pressure.

These are two young people in love who have eloped, foolishly but understandably.  The BBC, in particular, has pushed this story to a quite ridiculous and irresponsible extent.  Mr Forrest has been demonised as if he is a violent rapist and paedophile.  He and Megan are the victims in this story, abused shamelessly by a prurient, sanctimonious and hypocritical media.

Megan is 15.  Very shortly she will have passed the age of consent.  In France, where the couple were discovered, she is already past the age of consent, so what is the crime?

I feel very concerned for Mr Forrest.  He has been stupid and irresponsible and probably committed a technical breach of the law but he has been villified beyond reason.  I am far more concerned for the horrific ordeal his parents have been put through than  the parents of Megan whose incontinent displays of emotion hide, I suspect, responsibility for Megan’s willingness to elope.

It’s the media though who deserve real condemnation.  It is they who sexualise girls at a younger and younger age and yet when this young woman follows their lead, they turn on her and her partner.

It’s not that long ago that girls younger than Megan would already be married and that is still the case in many countries.  I’m not suggesting that is a good thing but the hysterical overreaction to this young couple’s romantic adventure disgusts me.

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Written by Peter Reynolds

September 29, 2012 at 8:25 am

83 Responses

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  1. I do agree the media loves this story, but I also thin that being in a position of authority the teacher should have waited – after all this is only a crush and next month Megan will likely move onto One Direction or the Tellytubbies.

    vincentstark

    September 29, 2012 at 8:43 am

    • I agree completely. It’s a tragic case made much, much worse by the media coverage and the desperate rush by the morally weak and intellectually challenged to show how politically correct they can be

      Peter Reynolds

      September 29, 2012 at 12:07 pm

      • The media deionise him because of 2 previous SERIOUS cases at the school and this denial that girls of 15 still play with their dolls. Seriously, there teens who know more about sex and I’m 34. Society and parents have a inability in updating their views in that regard. This is 2012 not 1972.

        Compared to the previous 2 what Jeremy has done is really mild, shows signs of moral conflict, a real romantic love for her and willingness to take a job to support her. Hardly the actions of a ‘groomer’.

        Megan’s running away with Jeremy is a sign of a girl wanting the same. If she didn’t, then she could’ve rung home any time in the 8 days they were gone. I’m sure facts like that will be put forward by the defence.

        As more information has come out, it has shown this to be true. Even the abduction issue has been shown just like the relationship consensual and as a couple.

        I’ve read the CPS info on Breach of trust and abduction and I don’t see Jeremy fitting alot of the aggregating points but the mitigating ones. For instance he has shown affection and she has the same.

        Yet people have used the paedophile, when law it actually refers to someone who targets pre pubescent children. Megan is less than a year away from being a adult in the eyes of the law and if either one of them wished to contact each other in future they would have the right.

        He did commit a breach of trust but preventing them from being together in future, if they want to would be, would be unfair and violate their human rights. Running off is the ultimate sign of two people serious about staying together as well as willing to risk comfort or their normal lives.

        He’s not a threat to Megan’s family or just fell in love with someone equally unusual in the eyes of society.

        The ‘abduction’ was a action of panic and ill thinking. They should’ve waited it out longer till she was 16 and would’ve had to as Jeremy would have some time anyway. Only difference now it will be more and be more know that would’ve been.

        It made the situation worse and caused a manhunt that was painful for them, their familes and friends.

        David Aston

        September 30, 2012 at 9:10 am

      • If he hires a good lawyer – and they would have to be excellent in the field of criminal defence – I’m sure it could be argued that it wasn’t an abduction, or indeed underage sexual activity, since it would have to be proven that it took place here in the UK and I doubt that either of them would admit that. The case of Breach of Trust issue would be more difficult, although it could be argued that he wasn’t actually her teacher when inapproprate conduct took place – by not turning up for work he effectively resigned from his position. They (the CPS and police) will be relying heavily on admissions from both of them which may or may not be forthcoming.

        The Daily Mail today in their determination to keep the story at the top of the news, are seemingly dissecting posts left by his wife on the Tripadvisor website reviewing a holiday they had taken on their wedding anniversary, which is rather pathetic and scraping the barrel.

        I don’t think their relationship will survive as he will no doubt be forbidden to contact her as part of his bail conditions.

        Jane Sanders

        September 30, 2012 at 1:35 pm

  2. Well, if “crime” is breaking the law as passed by Parliament, it’s quite clear. Child protection legislation puts a teacher in a special position of care over his pupils, it’s called “loco parentis”. It is specifically forbidden to have any kind of relationship with anyone under the age of 18 who is in your care in this way. It’s been that way since the Huntly killings earlier this century.

    Many people argue all this child protection (“safeguarding” as it’s known) has gone too far and perhaps it has, it certainly makes engaging with kids in all sorts of healthy ways a risky thing to do in some respects, but I think in instances like this it’s well grounded.

    Any sexual encounter would be child rape of course. Remember it wasn’t a union of two equals, he is a fully mature adult, she is under 16, under the age of consent because she is is a child, legally and emotionally.

    It’s nothing unusual for kids to have a crush on their teacher, it happens all the time and the skill of dealing with this comes with the job of teaching, and it is very much a part of the job. Kids emotions are very easy to exploit and it is, correctly, the responsiblity of a teacher never to do that.

    One aspect of this might be that he doesn’t seem to have had the support and guidance of his school (his employers) which he would have been expected to have had. It seems this relationship has been known about for some time but nothing was done about it, or possibly if something was done it was done late and heavy handedly, causing the couple to run awy together. But the fact remeains he is responsible for what happened and it is a criminal offence.

    NR23Derek

    September 29, 2012 at 9:22 am

  3. What I’m quite certain of is that the prurient and irresponsible media coverage will have caused Megan far more harm than this brief romantic adventure.

    Peter Reynolds

    September 29, 2012 at 10:26 am

    • A brief romantic adventure. What planet are you on? An adult male/teacher in his thirties abducts a child who is FIFTEEN years old and you say it’s a romantic adventure. This man is a paedophile. YOU obviously don’t have any children or maybe you see no wrong in adults having sex with children. You’re views are sick.

      EveSarah Robinson

      September 29, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      • I won’t abuse you in return Eve. I’ll just make the point that to say he abducted her is self-evident nonsense. You’re using the term to stir up hatred and opprobrium against him. It’s absolutely clear that Megan went of her own free will, however bad a decision it might have been.

        Clearly he is wrong as I said in the article. However, the sort of intolerance, self-righteousness and myopia you exhibit is very worrying. I wonder what you might be capable of in extremis?

        I do have children, all of whom are now grown up but I have many nieces and nephews aged from just a few months upwards. I very much hope they don’t ever make such a mistake or come into contact with such irresponsible, immature teachers. I am grateful that they have caring adults around them who exhibit more common sense and rather more temperate language and views than you.

        Peter Reynolds

        September 29, 2012 at 4:40 pm

      • I would suggest that you inform yourself of what a paedophile actually is. In case you don’t know I will enlighten you: It is someone who is attracted to prepubescent children. This man was married, which suggests that he is perfectly capable of having a relationship with an adult, and as far as we are aware he has no previous record of paedophilia. I think we can safely say that if he had, the media would have discovered it during their intense interest in him last week.

        Calling this man a paedophile would suggest that you are focusing solely on the sexual aspect of their relationship – which we don’t even know for certain existed. Had a sexual relationship existed, according to French law he has done nothing wrong.

        As an aside, I am a 46 year old woman with four children of my own, and also a foster carer of teenagers.

        Jane Sanders

        September 29, 2012 at 4:50 pm

  4. I can’t believe what I’m reading! This girl should have been in his care, not in his pants, totally his fault/responsibility end of Peter, end of, no ifs no buts!!!

    Steven Spray

    September 29, 2012 at 11:05 am

  5. Everyone have very valid points,but media wasn’t in an up roar when Jerry Lee Lewis married his 15 year old cousin,nor did reporters say anything about Frank Gifford and Kathy Lee.It’s before my time but I hear from a very good source who is in the industry that Kathy Lee was 15 when she hooked up with the football player.

    Rafiq Mustafaa

    September 29, 2012 at 12:08 pm

  6. So what if she’s nearly 16? Even if he’d waited until she was 16 it would still be a crime under the Sexual Offences Act, under the heading “abuse of a position of trust”, which goes up to the age of 18.

    Teachers are in a position of power over their pupils, and those boundaries are there for good reasons, not just political correctness.

    Zarathustra

    September 29, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    • I agree. Clearly he has done wrong. I wasn’t defending him. I was criticising the media coverage and disproportionate hand wringing and hysteria.

      Peter Reynolds

      September 29, 2012 at 4:42 pm

  7. What perplexes me more is that he didn’t give his wife a second thought. Even if they weren’t getting on they had only been married a year when he must have already known Megan. I find it quite callous to try and start a new life abroad – he surely can’t have been in his right mind knowing full well that he was on the brink of losing everything. It sounds to me as though he needs psychological help rather than the horrible witch hunt that the media is propagating. He can’t really have thought they would get away with it. Maybe if he hadn’t been her teacher …

    Maria Todd

    September 29, 2012 at 1:08 pm

  8. My Daughter was just 16 when she decided she wanted to move in with a much older guy, not her teacher of course, but my point is she wasn’t far older than this girl and she knew her own mind! Shes 23 now and fully understands how Megan feels.As parents it wasn’t easy but we accepted it rather than condemn them both. He was actually around the same age as this guy. Young people mature so much faster now days, its frightening as a parent, but if I/we were Megan’s parents we would deal with this situation in a far more sensitive way than the BBC has done that’s for sure!

    I’m the proud and protective Father of 3 daughters and you know what I saw in that pic?…. I saw two young people in love, right or wrong, that’s what that shot says to me…. look at the body language.I think the issue here is that he was her teacher and as such was in a position of trust and care.

    Lee Gramson

    September 29, 2012 at 3:16 pm

  9. Totally agree with your view. My concern throughout the reporting of this case has been for Jeremy Forrest and his parents who must be devastated. He must have been very much in love with Megan as no rational person would jeopardise their career, financial stability, marriage and liberty if that were not the case. His life is now in ruins, he will not only be unemployed, but unemployable – certainly as a teacher anyway. He will be left to pick up the pieces of his shattered life while young Megan will return to her normal life quite quickly. He will be vilified while she will be seen as the victim. He has been incredibly naive.

    Jane Sanders

    September 29, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    • Exactly my feeling. His life is ruined – Megan can go on as normal once she has got past her teenage crush. Being so much older his feelings must be much more real for him to put his whole life on the line. I feel very very sorry for him.

      Maria Todd

      September 29, 2012 at 7:16 pm

  10. I was 15 when I had a relationship with a teacher (although we did not run away). It really hacks me off when people say she is a child and can not make her own decisions. When I as 15 I knew exactly what I was doing and I learnt so much more about myself in that relationship. The man who I was with loved me, truly loved me, and does to this day, 12 years later. We were lucky, there was no media coverage that I was aware of when our relationship was revealed to the world by someone very close to me. If there had if been, I honestly probably would have killed myself. The next 15 months were complete hell, to this day I have never been in a situation that has felt worse than that. The CPS refused to let me give evidence in court because I was defending him, no one wanted to hear my side of the story, they just thought “he’s clearly a peadophille” and I think that may be one of the hardest things to Megan to deal with, hearing what the whole world thinks about the man she loves. No one wants to believe he is a good person, only what he did which they do not agree with. Her world will feel shattered, she may resent the people who have tried to find her or who have spoken badly of him which will isolate her. This while thing will affect her terribly. 12 years on, I still feel that guilt of costing someone everything they every worked for, their career, house, family, everything. All he did was love me and are for me. After it was all over and there was not enough evidence against him (although he lost his job obviously) we tried to make our relationship work, but I could not get over the guilt and he was seriously affected too, wondering if people were judging him because I was younger, and we could not make it work. I believe to this day he is the love of my life, and I think Megan will feel the same.

    Ellie

    September 30, 2012 at 10:27 am

    • I’m sorry to hear that but I believe they will try to do what you did. Plus, the evidence of texts, witnesses and Jeremy’s decision to wait till she is 16 will be migating factors.

      I would think that the court would be aware of the bias against Jeremy and his defence will point out. Plus, she acted in many ways that showed she WANTED the relationship.

      It was said today that he partly wanted to back as soon as possible to be near her. That’s a sign of dedication.

      And in 9 months she’ll be 16 so she would be allowed to contact him in prison. It would be morally wrong for the parents and police to prevent her when she’s older. If they were willing to run off and risk this it’s proof of how serious it is. Surely that must factor in?

      David Aston

      September 30, 2012 at 1:45 pm

      • I hope they do try to make things work afterwards, would be such a shame to have to go through all of this for what would be nothing in the end. I know I don’t know either of them, but they seemed liked a loved up couple, and I was reading all of his tweets and he really loved her and was in genuine turmoil about the relationship. There is also a tweet that I think would show they did not have a sexual relationship in the UK which will be the difference between jail and no jail. The whole abduction thing I think will be down to the parents and if they want to press charges on that, fingers crossed they don’t. Wasn’t it the parents decision to say she was abducted so the French authorities could issue an arrest warrant? They may want to see him suffer because of the distress they were caused. People are generally selfish, and want what they want not what may be best for her. She needs to see him anyway to get some sort of closure. It breaks my heart to think about how miserable they with both be, and reading that he wants to be back in the UK to be closer to her makes it all the more upsetting – he could be thinking now oh my god I want nothing to do with her because I’ve thrown away everything for a girl that really isn’t my soulmate – but he isn’t. There is such love there. Makes me so upset. I think though, that the CPS, her parents and the school will want the book thrown at him, if only to set an example to other teachers who may be in the same situation :( everyone who says thy saw then while they were in France said they were a lovely looking loved up couple. If police thought she was ever in danger they would have arrested him months ago when they were first made aware of the plane hand holding.

        Ellie

        September 30, 2012 at 4:42 pm

      • I agree. It would seem cold hearted to many that they would prevent her seeing him ever again. I’m sure the psychologists have pointed out that it would do more harm than good to deny her what she is serious about. The Father said she had nothing to be ashamed of, so then she shouldn’t finish the relationship with Jeremy just because they object.

        It would drive Megan further awa. Besides, 16/17 she’ll be in her legal right. Apparently she’s been questioned and explaining it all to her Father. If that includes that she wants to carry on seeing him and it’s not just a childish crush that will go away then whether he likes it or not she will. If they try and condition her that would be anything but parental. Just getting what they want. And what parents want for their children isn’t always what they want.

        They shouldn’t do any of this out of anger because he hasn’t had sex with her. His booking of the room was odd to the Hotel staff member because lovers usually go in together. A real groomer would’ve wasted no time at all but Jeremy was willing to wait 9 months. Shouldn’t that be a sign of true respect and love towards her? Some boys her own age wouldn’t show that restraint.

        They should’ve done that along instead of running away. Then there would just be one conviction.

        He’s been devastated by it all and I know courts look at the facts so those would have to considered. The feelings of Megan and Jeremy must play a part in it.

        David Aston

        September 30, 2012 at 6:44 pm

  11. Reading the responses elsewhere to this blog what seems obvious is that you simply cannot say anything nowadays.

    darrylbickler

    September 30, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    • Well only if you’re prepared to be abused, slandered and if you can duck quickly as toys are thrown out of prams in all directions. It won’t stop me Darryl. There is a very nasty, snide and ignorant mood about that the dumbed down internet trolls revel in. Let them. All they do is demonstrate their own seething hatred and inability to think for themselves.

      Peter Reynolds

      September 30, 2012 at 2:24 pm

      • Well now they have the full house of taboos alleged against you to feel good about. Im sad that some people who support my reform group would clearly make nightmare jurors, abandon good judgment to form marriages of convenience with anyone who would criticise you. I can’t accept that by not joining in with all this obsessive pouring over your views and private life that means I am supporting you either. I just like to see fairness, and I despair that persons ostensibly concerned with our cognitive liberty smugly cite that laws are being broken, yet this subject isnt rationally determined by lines in the sand, the growth from childhood to adulthood is gradual and variable from person to person and place to place. People who want kids locked up for anti social acts can’t even see the irony of having a 15 year old making a decision to have a relationship labelled as a crime by the adult. We simply are too primative to deal with this subject that starts with sensible biological imperative and ends up with a moralistic social construct. Derek in his post has played a very safe hand by referring to the duty of care, and that is fair comment, but life isnt really a one-size fits all even though the law works as if it is.

        Even saying this is akin to being a paedophile for the simply minded who cannot even conceive that these are novel arbitrary and contemporary imposed values, in some regard, just like drug laws currently are.

        darrylbickler

        September 30, 2012 at 3:06 pm

      • Yes Darryl. I’m sure you’re wise enough to know that you too are now guilty by association.

        I am content that the ludicrous depths of abuse and slander now reached are so absurd as to reveal their dishonesty to anyone with even a single brain cell.

        Sometimes I despair at the base motives and sad herd mentality that is directed at me. The truth is though that they are very few in number and trapped in their own obsessive, self-reinforcing ghetto, fuelled by idleness and too much cannabis. See the intelligent comments posted here. There is a worthwhile reality outside the delusional “crazy stoners”

        Peter Reynolds

        September 30, 2012 at 5:02 pm

      • I don’t profess to know all about possible side effect of cannabis use; but claiming cannabis (mis)use as a stick to fend off your critics seems absurd for a man with aspirations to court the cannabis using populace. Are we to have defined sensible cannabis consumption by Clear? Some people consume masses more cannabis than other users just to normalise themselves and function properly. Anyway, I agree the debate on FB etc and the dedicated watch sites is pathetic and there is too much pressure to take sides – I think we should all get on with it, let the best people come through. There is no need to trash anyone else on their personalities and wider views within reason, but vigorously debate the stances on the actual issues, ie that you define as cannabis regulation and I define as personal liberty.

        Darryl Bickler

        September 30, 2012 at 6:10 pm

      • I’m not using it “as a stick to fend off your (my) critics” Darryl, I hardly need any weapon or defence to expose the emptiness of their complaints. It is a truth that has become self-evident over the last year and more that there is a small group of obsessives that magnify their paranoia and OCD with endless hits on the bong and a religious adherence to the great God that is Facebook. Certainly I now recognise that there is cannabis use and cannabis abuse. Also, that for some legitimate medicinal users the side effects of their medicine are obsessiveness, paranoia and a sort of “cowboys and indians” mentality.

        I have a job to do and although it may be in these individuals’ interests, I cannot be distracted by them. It is not them that I need to commmunicate with. In fact they are largely irrelevant to the pursuit of reform and they make themselves more so the more ridiculous they become.

        Your demented drummer friend and his chums are what I regard as a sort of collateral hindrance, an inconvenient irrelevance that can mostly be ignored but occasionally has to be dealt with ruthlessly for the greater good.

        Peter Reynolds

        September 30, 2012 at 6:46 pm

  12. Mr Reynolds, if Jeremy Forrest was a 17 year old lad who ran away to France with his 15 year old girlfriend, this “love story” would have been very different.
    Megan being 15, and close to the age of consent, is irrelevant. It is the fact that she is Jeremy’s student, or more to the point, that Jeremy was her teacher, and as such had a position of authority, trust and responsibility, that is the issue.
    My own children are now going off on school trips and as a parent, if I was the mum of one of her classmates on the American trip in Feb, I would be very worried and angry.
    While I appreciate that Megan went willingly,and clearly has feelings for her teacher, I remember being fifteen myself, grown up one minute, giggly and childlike the next. Whether or not Megan was ready, for not only a sexual relationship, but being removed from her home, her family and friends, and thrust into the limelight for all the wrong reasons, was not Jeremy’s decision to make. Nor was it Megan’s, as a minor, whether or not you consider the age of consent, as it stand, to be correct.
    For me, his blatant disregard towards his responsibility, the law, his wife, Megan, and all their families, make him the kind of man I would not wish to be in charge of my teenage daughter in a strange place. As an educated man, he must have known it wasn’t going to have a happy ending and if he truly loved Megan and wanted the best for her, he wouldn’t have put her through this. Who knows what repercussions there will be as a result of his narcissistic self-indulgent actions.
    While you are critical of the fuss made by the police and the press, you might consider that the outcome might have been very different, in which case I’m sure everyone would be pointing the finger in their direction and questioning why they didn’t intervene.

    Jane McCreadie

    October 1, 2012 at 12:21 am

    • I agree with you entirely about Forrest’s behaviour. As I said he was “stupid and irresponsible”. I still maintain that the media hysteria has made the whole thing worse and caused Megan much more damage than anything else.

      Incidentally, although I don’t think it reduces his culpability much, I understand he wasn’t Megan’s teacher.

      Peter Reynolds

      October 1, 2012 at 6:40 am

      • I just feel that the fact that Jeremy was Megan’s teacher has been glossed over in the name of the tragi-romantic element. If you agree that her welfare may have been in question, surely the authorities, the press and their families were right to do all they could to intervene. If Jeremy had brought her back when he had the chance, then things wouldn’t have spiralled out of control and less damage would have been done to Megan. His failure to do so was obviously of concern to his family and the fact that Megan’s behaviour was so out of character was clearly alarming for Megan’s. Although she chose to go, who is to say her experience was a pleasant one? Bear in mind Megan should also have been in school, not living on the run. The media coverage was what led to their discovery and Megan’s safe return. I may be wrong, but if reports are to believed, Jeremy was giving Megan extra Maths lessons during the summer. I doubt whether her parents would have agreed to this had they known.

        Jane McCreadie

        October 1, 2012 at 8:35 am

      • I agree. They happened to have ‘run away’ during a slow news week. Had this happened amid other – more sensational or serious – news stories, this would hardly have been reported. Also, the main issue concerning both sets of parents was the fact that they had failed to make contact with them, and understandably they were worried for their safety. Had they made contact soon after arriving in France to explain everything and reassure the parents that they were OK, the press conference would probably not have been necessary. He has acted foolishly and not many people would disagree with that, however, the media ALWAYS has a self serving agenda – to sell papers/advertising space/high veiwing figures etc. and unfortunately Jeremy – by his foolish actions – has played right into their hands. If he had been younger…. if he hadn’t been her teacher…. there are lots of ‘ifs’, but unfortunately (for them) the combination of factors ensured that they became the lead news story last week. It’ll be interesting to watch how this pans out. I don’t remember Megan’s parents actually condemning Jeremy. Will they encourage the relationship, or will they forbid their daughter from having further contact with him? This will have some bearing on his sentence I would think.

        Jane Sanders

        October 1, 2012 at 8:37 am

      • Jane, I’ve noticed as Megan and Jeremy have been discussing what happened, the press have gone on about it to the point of rehashing facts I’ve read time and time again as though they’re trying get around the embargo of what they can report.

        The Mirror and Daily Mail are the worst. They have twisted or over egged what was really said. I’ve read the proper statements from the lawyers and the tabloids are clearly BSing what was said.

        Simple fact is that Megan won’t want a new bf but will want Jeremy no matter how much love she gets from family and friends. They shouldn’t stop them seeing each other. It would makes things worse and there’s been enough drama. Running away was the ultimate declaration of love and wanting to be with each other. Surely the parents have the ability to emphasise and give their daughter what would make her happy?

        16 – 18 she’d be able legally contact him no matter what they say or how long he gets. And the same applies to him. If court bars him from contacting her it would look rather mean spirited and lead to an appeal which is his legal right if he states it as an infringement of his human rights. Especially if it occurs he’s not harmed her and he poses no threat to her or the family within the judgement

        David Aston

        October 1, 2012 at 11:58 am

    • A lot of what you say is right Jan and I agree she/he were fools to run off like they did. It was totally uncalled for but I don’t believe he did this out of grooming/abusing because his actions in France and what they got up to were romantic. They were sight seeing, taking pictures, enjoying the tourist expat areas and holding hands. That’s the image of them from the very first picture. Hardly the behaviour of someone who’s been abducted or someone who just wants to bang her.

      Maybe he refused or she said she wasn’t ready? He said himself they didn’t until she was sixteen. That’s a sign he respected her. A form of chivalry. Surely that’s comfort for the parents?

      A REAL groomer would’ve had sex with her there and then. Like 1 of the previous cases at the same school. A 27 year old who got 7 years for having sex with 2 girls one 15 and the other 16. Dumped one and then started with another. But Jeremy didn’t which shows she wasn’t a target but someone who he fell for. His website comments of conflict. He chose her even though he knows it will mean trouble for him.

      I’ve read CPS guidelines on sentencing for breach of trust and abduction. Actions and behaviour of a defendant place them in different sentences. He maybe be guilty but certainly doesn’t fall in the serious abuser areas. The mitigating factors are affection between them and that the fact she wasn’t coerced into going with him. What I’ve read and the events have echoed those things.

      They both took passports from family and agreed to runaway. In fact the first person to suggest running away was Megan.

      So dumb in running away YES. Merely had to wait a little longer to have a legal relationship. He would’ve been suspended and had to wait till she was sixteen plus it would’ve tested if they were sure what they wanted.

      Most of all they wouldn’t have made things worse. The heart ruled the head and when it does everything seems invisible a part from the person you LOVE.

      David Aston

      October 1, 2012 at 8:31 am

  13. @Jane Sanders, I’m not suggesting Jeremy Forrest is a paedophile, however your comment that the fact he was married and able to have an adult relationship, therefore was unlikely to be attracted to young girls, is twaddle.
    Many paedophiles are middle-class, married and in a position of authority, and are able to present a very different persona to the rest of the world.
    To me, the fact that he had been married only a year and showed such disregard for his wife makes him even more reprehensible.

    Jane McCreadie

    October 1, 2012 at 9:04 am

    • No WRONG. Paedophile relates to people who groom pre pubescent girls or boys and what has class got to do with it?

      His marriage might’ve been something that was as rash as the trip to France. Either way it’s done now.

      David Aston

      October 1, 2012 at 10:06 am

      • David, not WRONG, nothing’s ever that black and white, usually a sludgy shade of grey.

        Paedophiles can be as you describe but not all paeodophiles are the same. Paedophiles may be interested in pre-pubescent minors or post-pubescent minors. It can be interest or contact, fantasy or a physical act.
        Not enough is known about Megan’s case to know whether or not grooming took place. Handholding with a 14 year old under his care, while on a school trip, wasn’t commendable and might be construed as grooming.

        In any case, I’VE NEVER REFERRED TO FORREST AS A PAEDOPHILE, simply questioned Jane S’s comment that his marital status indicated he was capable of having an adult relationship, therefore unlikely to have an interest in young girls. I actually agree with Jane’s later comment that whether or not Forrest was married is immaterial.

        My reference to class was simply highlighting the fact that such men come from all different backgrounds, often holding down highly professional jobs and commanding respect while having a very different side privately. The point being that class is immaterial but not irrelevant.

        Jane McCreadie

        October 2, 2012 at 2:25 am

    • This man is clearly not a paedophile. To suggest that he is, is focusing on the (possible) sexual aspect of the relationship, which we don’t even know existed. Most paedophiles – and yes they are from all classes/marital status etc. – are usually quite manipulative and secretive. They go to great lengths to hide their sexual preferences/encounters and Jeremy Forrest did not do this. I am sure that if he had wanted a quick fumble with an underage girl there would have been plenty of opportunities for him to have acheived this and remain undetected. He certainly wouldn’t have jeopardised his career and freedom for a sexual encounter. Whether he was married or not is immaterial. We don’t know how he felt about his wife or the dynamics of their relationship, but certainly judging from the photos of their wedding in the press, he looked ill at ease – as though he didn’t want to get married. It was obviously a mistake. I wouldn’t say his actions are reprehensible, rather I would say that they were incredibly foolish and naive.

      Jane Sanders

      October 1, 2012 at 10:16 am

      • Jane S, point taken about Jeremy Forrest not being secretive about his feelings. However, holding hands with a 14 year old pupil on a school trip, while upfront, is neither wise nor commendable and at the very least, smacks of naivety and arrogance.
        It was you who first referred to Forrest’s marriage, implying that it indicated he was capable of adult relationships, and therefore unlikely to be attracted to pre-pubescent girls. I was pointing out that many men who have relationships with young girls ( avoiding the expression paedophile) do so as married men.
        My reference to class was simply highlighting the fact that such men come from all different backgrounds, often holding down highly professional jobs and commanding respect while having a very different side privately.
        Not suggesting he wanted a quick fumble with an underage girl, I acknowledged he has loving feelings towards Megan. We’ll have to agree to disagree, as, in my view, still reprehensible that he acted on them.

        Jane McCreadie

        October 2, 2012 at 1:46 am

  14. I found your blog from the Telegraph ecstasy article. Great stuff and lots of people posting under their real names.

    Jonathan Bagley

    October 1, 2012 at 4:23 pm

  15. Bit hypocritical of you don’t you think? Attack the media for their villification of Mr Forrest and then go on to vilify the parents of Megan. They were quite rightly very concerned, he could very well have been a violent rapist and paedophile and the possibility must surely have been playing on their minds. Mr Forrest was clearly in a very stressful position and who knows what that could have led to.

    The media for all their faults have in this case helped in Megans speedy return, this is what was most important for all involved.

    dave

    October 2, 2012 at 9:41 am

    • Rubbish. What planet are you on to start making completely wild, speculative allegations about Forrest being a “violent rapist and paedophile”? There is no basis in any evidence for what you say and it is disgusting and offensive.

      The media’s actions in all this were and continue to be entirely self-serving. If there had been another story or someone else to get their claws into they wouldn’t have given any coverage to Megan and Jeremy’s story. I am sure there are hundreds of such elopements every year. Thank God that the individuals concerned are able to resolve their problems and reconcile with their families without being subject to the harassment, abuse and sanctimonious claptrap that Megan and Jeremy have suffered.

      The treatment of Jeremy Forrest, although he was clearly wrong to go to France with Megan, reminds me of the treatment of Christopher Jefferies who was falsely accused over the Joanna Yeates murder.

      Peter Reynolds

      October 2, 2012 at 11:05 am

      • You are putting words into my mouth Pete. I made it very clear that i wasn’t accusing Jeremy Forrest of being a “violent rapist and paedophile”. If an older man, a teacher no less, runs off with your underage daughter then that seems like a normal worry that may cross your mind. They had no idea what had motivated him and neither did you. Why you decided after having taken offense to the vilification of Jeremy Forrest to go on to vilify Megans Parents is what left me confused.

        I agree with you that the media are often too fast to vilify and the way Christopher Jefferies was treated was disgusting. I just feel your attack on the media is misplaced in this case, they helped in her speedy return and that can only be of benefit to both sets of parents, Jeremy Forrest and Megan.

        BBC Radio 4 in particular actually gave quite a bit of time to the parents of Jeremy Forrest and in exploring some of the points you make here. They didn’t however attack Megans parents.

        dave

        October 2, 2012 at 11:50 am

  16. @Jane McCreadie I see. I stand corrected and you’re right being this or that (in any matter) never excludes or includes possibility. But I do think that paedophile is over used and one of the definitions here:

    Wikipedia: “As a medical diagnosis, paedophilia, or paedophilia, is defined as a psychiatric disorder in persons who are 16 years of age or older typically characterized by a primary or exclusive sexual interest in prepubescent children (generally age 13 years or younger, though onset of puberty varies)”.

    To my mind when young people reach a certain age of sexual maturity you can’t dismiss a under age relationship as something she or he didn’t want/understand. CPS guide lines I’ve read cover this and if someone has had prior sexual activity or a mature enough to understand of what the relationship entailed that plays into the decision based on culpability and nature of relationship:

    http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/s_to_u/sentencing_manual/s16_abuse_of_a_position_of_trust_sexual_activity_with_a_child/

    From what I can gather the only things to happen between them has been non-penetrative activity (kissing) and contact with body ie holding hands ect. So, not including the abduction he’d get 18 months plus to what I can’t guess.

    If he lied about having sex with Megan it would be dumb because she’d be asked if they had by the police anyway and in France (and England maybe) she had a medical that would prove if she’s a virgin or not. Even then it might be due to previous partners and that’s one of the questions the police would’ve asked.

    Papers suggest what she thinks or what her experience was ie Daily Mail saying her time in France was an ORDEAL? How do they know that? She’s not even done an interview. She’s not even going to be in court. Although they the defence could call her as a witness in theory in the interests of fairness to Jeremy.

    Parents, police and news seem to want him to be the worst of the worst even if that’s not even shown in evidence and contradicted by Megan’s statement which at the same time correlates his story.

    David Aston

    October 2, 2012 at 9:59 am

    • “Paedophile” is indeed an over used term. It is often used out of context and incorrectly. In fact the actual term which should be used is “hebephile” which is sexual interest in 11-14 year olds, or “ephebophile” – sexual interest in adolescents. I’ve never actually seen those terms in a newspaper headline. Could the reason be that those words don’t quite conjure up the feelings of revulsion that paedophile does – or is that just me being cynical?

      Jane Sanders

      October 2, 2012 at 11:09 am

      • No it’s because unlike you most wouldn’t be bright enough to know them LOL

        David Aston

        October 2, 2012 at 12:10 pm

  17. I so disagree with your comment.  People keep saying, shes 15, she knew what she was doing and she dressed like an adult…  I cant understand why they believe this makes what Jeremy did justifiable.  Yes many teenage girls dress like much older women and it’s all sanctioned by their parents and today’s society. But the reality of the situation is that even if they dress and flirt with older men and see themselves as older, they are still young girls/children (in Megan’s case – under the UK’s legal age of consent. The law is clear on this point) and as old as they want to be perceived they are still very much children and have to be aloud to grow. Dressing, looking, flirting and getting infatuated (a crush) with an older man (normally a teacher or pop star) is their way of experimenting and learning about themselves as the gradually develop into young women. 

    But none of the above can ever justify a teacher with a duty of care or any adult to follow through with any form of intimate relationship (sexual or not) or take a child out of the country without her parents consent. The thing that makes this worse is he was a teacher and her parents trusted him to do the right thing. As adults we have the ability to control our emotions and actions. Just because you want something doesn’t mean you can have it or that it’s right to have it.. We are all fully aware that teenagers will always think they know more than they do.. I am not trying to be patronising to teenagers but all adults have said/thought “if I knew then what I know now”. This is because we truly believed we did when we were young…

    All adults have a responsibility to protect young kids from themselves. Their inexperience can get them into trouble. He was the adult/her teacher and he should have stopped this regardless of his inappropriate feelings. His thrown away his career, his reputation and most likely his freedom.

    Everyone I have spoken to have different levels of feelings on this case but one thing everyone agrees on and we can’t get away from is, it was wrong of him, he was the adult, he should have stopped it and it’s not right that a 30 year old teacher was conducting any sort of intimate relationship with a 14, then 15 year old child. 

    Tracy

    October 5, 2012 at 10:36 am

    • Nobody here has even suggested that Forrest’s actions were “justifiable”. They were clearly wrong.

      Unfortunately and tragically we see a real case of “child abduction” this week and the tragedy of April should put the far less serious case of Megan into proper perspective.

      Megan is the victim of exploitative media sensationalism and a stupid, irresponsible man. April is the victim of a monster.

      Peter Reynolds

      October 5, 2012 at 10:42 am

      • It certainly does put the Megan/Jeremysaga into perspective. Also, had April gone missing last week I doubt the story would have seen the light of day – a few column inches and a brief mention perhaps on news bulletins. Thats how cynical and exploitative the media really is.

        Jane Sanders

        October 5, 2012 at 11:23 am

  18. I came to this late Peter – but it’s great to read some sense about this episode. Thanks for putting your head above the parapet.

    David C

    October 5, 2012 at 9:29 pm

  19. Let’s not forget that respectable people whose ‘crime’ doesn’t involve or exploit anybody else, have their lives ruined, even end up in prison. This happens every day.

    pjmcneill

    October 6, 2012 at 11:10 am

  20. Yesterday the teacher’s distraught parents held hands as they faced the media. With his 57-year-old wife Julie sobbing beside him, Mr Forrest looked directly at TV cameras as he said: ‘Hi Megan, hi Jeremy, I hope this message reaches you and you are both okay.

    corporations offshore

    October 19, 2012 at 8:49 pm

  21. +When the chemistry is there for two people to fall in love no rules or laws are going to stop it and the more passionate it is, the more extreme their actions are likely to be. I think it’s clear that Jeremy was under a huge amount of pressure when they ran away together and he’s been the victim of a horrendous and despicable witch hunt by the media. Anyone who listens to his songs can’t doubt for a moment how in love he was with her. Although he made a mistake he is obviously a very intelligent, sincere guy and I sincerely hope that the two of them will come out of this together and make a go of it. I agree with just about everything Peter Reynolds says and wish more people were as rational as him.

    Mary Strickland

    October 21, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    • There seems to be reporting restrictions put on this case now. I noticed that on he day he appeared in court after his extradition to the UK, most of the stories in the (online) media disappeared by the afternoon, the only one reporting it was the Daily Mail and the report said “a man has appeared in court…” no mention of a name even though most people would have know who it was of course – very strange. I also thought it strange that he was remanded in custody and no application for bail was made by his solicitor. Could it be because of the media attention I wonder?

      Jane Sanders

      October 21, 2012 at 6:03 pm

      • I think he is probably going to walk free. The only thing he could be charged with was child abduction because that was the basis of his extradition. I don’t see how that can be made to stick.

        Peter Reynolds

        October 21, 2012 at 6:38 pm

  22. I really hope he does walk free, but I think technically abduction includes taking her without her parent’s consent, though presumably that lesser ‘crime’ would not carry anything like the 5 year sentence everyone was going on about. Her parents may even have the power to drop the charges if they wanted to, though previously they seemed to encourage the negative public perception of him. He has said that he wants to tell his story so perhaps for that reason he wants it to go to court but in the meantime I hope he doesn’t have to wait too long one way or the other as he has been treated incredibly harshly and shouldn’t be in prison at all.

    Mary Strickland

    October 21, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    • No he shouldn’t, considering that those who commit much worse crimes are given bail. I don’t believe her parents have a say in whether the charges are dropped or not as it would be the decision of the CPS. I’ll be very interesting to hear his side of the story. He could be waiting several month before the case goes to court, and the chances are that reporting restrictions will remain in place during the proceedings so we may never get to know the details.

      Jane Sanders

      October 23, 2012 at 11:54 am

  23. I agree wholeheartedly.

    James Mac

    October 22, 2012 at 12:30 pm

  24. This whole incident has shown me just how polarised the British public can be , we have on the one hand media and press coverage that attracts those that are so entrenched in what is currently legal and PC , and justify their comments so vehemently it comes across as the need to show the public that they are really very scared to not advocate the current law as regards cases like this . On the other hand a few individuals have looked at the whole picture and have seen that two young people were clearly drawn to each other very deeply , no-one elopes unless they want to ! what we have here is a case of one of them being in loco parentis to the other ,and the law disregarding the feelings and opinions of the younger of the pair due to the British legal thresholds of adulthood . But even this may prove to be flimsy , come the court case it will be interesting to see how Jeremy’s lawyers are able to reveal the inconsistencies existing in the British legal system , there seems to be a couched fear that if we don’t totally condemn situations like this then endless cases will start to erupt ,but in reality is this likely ? . Love like this is actually very very rare indeed . Jeremy does not deserve any more pain , he will be seriously depressed at this time due to his loss . Those that want to say that he doesn’t even have the right to this emotion as this case is about abduction and abuse , are frankly blind to what really took place , but I can only surmise that it is those that have never felt love very deeply that can come up with some of the vehement comments that I have read . It will be hard for Jeremy to rebuild his life , but he will in time , and the public will simply forget all about it , because the public are totally fickle and will only attach their interest to what is current , if this wasn’t the case then we would not need reminding so frequently of the needs of charitable organisations .It is heartening to see the comments from people that can show intelligence and understanding .What is so difficult to get right in the legal system is the way to recognise the difference between love in a case like this and a clearly abusive case that has been shown to be actual by irrefutable evidence on the part of the alleged abuser . If Megan has strength and commitment she will find a way back to Jeremy one day, it will be very hard for her as most people around her will just try to sympathise with her and treat her as a confused victim . It could be the case that for Megan , she will simply outgrow this , but for Jeremy his loss will really hurt him for the remainder of his life , he knows this , and is trying to deal with it . We should all wish him well in this process, he is not deserving of condemnation .

    Chris Wilson

    October 26, 2012 at 11:18 am

    • It’s really encouraging to read a rational, substantiated opinion like the one above when there are too few people speaking out in defence of Jeremy. Yes, he was older than her, and he was a teacher, but before all that, they were two people who fell in love, and love doesn’t follow age boundaries or rules or laws. Nobody who has looked at the facts could doubt that he sincerely loved her, and presumably still does. And for that he has undergone the most disproportionately harsh treatment, been imprisoned, led around in handcuffs, incorrectly and disgracefully villified by hysterical and hypocritical journalists who have shown no shame in their lies and and distortion of the truth. Some examples include talk of ‘grooming’ (a load of baloney) the obvious ‘P’ word which I am not even going to do the credit of writing out in full, photos in which he has a perfectly normal expression are captioned ‘scowling’ or ‘grim’ and the court artist made him look like a down and out. This is cynical, depressing and a very worrying comment on the mentalities of the perpetrators. At 15 Megan is more than capable of making decisions and she will not thank anyone for portraying her as the victim in all this. In fact, I think those that attempt to do so are doing her a huge disservice as she needs to take her share of responsibility for what happened in order to come to terms with it. She clearly loves him very much and I suspect is counting the days to her 16th birthday, all providing he is free by then. If before then she manages to get her GCSEs in order to progress to the next stage of her life, so much the better. Last week she posted a very moving poster (which mysteriously disappeared after two days) depicting herself as a ‘murderer’ and Jeremy as the victim. It was captioned something along the lines of ‘People see what you appear to be, few know what you really are.’ The girl in the photo (who clearly represented Megan) was holding an axe behind her back, the man (clearly representing Jeremy) was holding a bunch of flowers. That says everything about Megan’s real feelings and she will have been incredibly traumatised by what has happened to Jeremy. Those who really care about Megan should be working to get Jeremy freed as soon as possible. It may be that the huge ordeal they have been through will cement them together for life and I really hope so, because a love as deep as this is something very rare and if Megan wasn’t aware of that before, she certainly will be now. I really hope it works out for them. I also suggest that anyone who is still cynical about Jeremy’s motives listen to the very moving songs he wrote for her under his stage name of Jeremy Ayre, the main ones are Starsigns, Better Company and Arrows & Hearts, all on You Tube.

      Mary Strickland

      October 28, 2012 at 3:05 pm

      • I am also heartened to read the considerate, sensitive , well informed, holistic understanding of this situation as it applies to Megan . I hope more people will respond in a similar light , I will be keeping an eye out for how this situation resolves , if there was a way that Jeremy or Megan could get to read some of these honest , intelligent and heartfelt commentaries it would mean a lot to all of us who want them to get through this ordeal .

        Chris Wilson

        October 28, 2012 at 7:45 pm

  25. I think Chris Wilson’s point that the legal system has been so COMPLETELY misapplied in such a draconian way is central to all of this, and I half expect Jeremy’s lawyers to stand up in court at the beginning of proceedings and argue that there is no case to answer. Wishful thinking, perhaps, but as Megan went with him not only voluntarily but extremely excited and happy (according to her mother’s account of her behaviour earlier that day) the ONLY thing he has done is to run away with his girlfriend without her parent’s consent in a moment when he let his heart rule his head. For this he has he has had his life and character publicly ripped apart, been deprived of his freedom and all sorts of other insinuations which as Peter Reynolds said at the beginning of all this, depicted him as some sort of violent criminal. This started at the very beginning when both Police and her parents knew perfectly well that Megan had run away with the boyfriend she was very in love with, yet press reports persistently quoted them as being ‘concerned for her safety’ as if the effects of crossing the channel might suddenly turn him into a violent rapist.
    I, too,worry about the horrible mental anguish (not to mention physical deprivations) Jeremy has been put through so unjustifiably and unnecessarily as a result of this misapplication of the law and as a result of the opinions of a proportion of the public who are either very puritanical, don’t know, don’t care or are simply misinformed about the facts, or those who simply want to be seen to be jumping on the politically correct bandwaggon. He is a very intelligent man, multi-talented (he is a very good musician) and going by his song writing, very sensitive. It must seem to him that the world has gone absolutely mad, and I hope those closest to him will perhaps point out that he is not the first person in the world to be wrongfully imprisoned and villified, and a lot of them have come out fighting and won the day. Many of them have gone on to be some of the most famous and admired characters both of history and of our time. According to his own comments pasted on the internet he was deeply troubled by the moral dilemma of his relationship with Megan and the fact that it continued was down to the fact that he was still able to look into his heart and know that he was a good person. If people throughout history hadn’t done exactly the same thing and broken laws as a result, we’d still be living in the dark ages and we wouldn’t even have had the Reformation. Running away was a heady decision made by a young couple in love but but the decision of the legal system to crash down on Jeremy like an iron fist has been far worse. Hopefully he has the strength to carry on believing in himself and will come out of this fighting.

    Mary Strickland

    October 29, 2012 at 7:23 am

    • Again , very very perceptive comments from Mary ,obviously a “real human being”, and thank God for them , I wholeheartedly agree with all of these comments , my fear for Jeremy is not just based on the legal system which will clamp down in court , and could mean he is put on a register ( ridiculous) certainly the prospect of further teaching is out of the equation , but he is a talented guy who will make his mark .My fear is for his personal well being , both now and if in the horrid situation that Megan finds in time that she has faced so much peer pressure from family and friends that she cannot bring herself to face up to Jeremy and their possible future together , this often happens in these cases, but I so hope it won’t in this case . Frankly this worries me more than any court case . To say that this couple is in my thoughts and prayers is no understatement . The only positive I have to offer is that love when it is really strong will find it’s way forward , and I want Jeremy to know this and believe it , and i want Megan to do the same . there is too little genuine love in this world in my humble opinion , when it surfaces it’s to be treasured , and thank God ( I am not conventionally religious!) that there are a few newspapers that try to offset all this by publishing articles that show that couples with a large age difference between them can get together and do have very long term successful relationships .

      Chris Wilson

      October 29, 2012 at 2:06 pm

  26. I am sorry but I am struggling with understanding why people are making excuses and thats exactly what they are excuses for his behaviour…  An adult and teacher was having an inappropriate relationship with a 14 year old child..  She only turned 15 in the last few months and at 15, it’s still total wrong.  He then took her out of the country without her parents consent.  Regardless of whether she went willing or not, he should have know better.

    He knew what he was doing was wrong and he still made a conscious decision to do it.  His a well educated man and knew there would be consequences for his actions.  Where do you draw the line? 14, 13, 12, 11, 10 years old?  When would you find it repugnant? I am genuinely dismayed that people think what has occurred is ok. God only knows what I would have done had that been my daughter.  I would be pushing for every legal avenue to ensure he was prosecuted to the full extent of the law

    Tracy

    October 30, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    • Your letter raises different issues in this case. With regard to the point of making excuses, I would say that those defending Jeremy are not making excuses but pointing out the mitigating circumstances, these being many in his case and entirely relevant in the eyes of the law., These mitigating circumstances are that he he fell genuinely and sincerely in love with her, and people who are very in love do not always have the best judgement in the world. He cannot be blamed for falling in love because he is a human being first and a teacher second.With regard to running away it wasn’t sensible but he had just heard he was suspended, was faced with being separated from Megan, marriage broken down, lots of accumulated pressure etc plus his heart ruling his head. I find it very easy to see why he acted as he did.
      With regard to Megan being 15, I think it is very relevant that she was 15 and not 14, 13, 12 etc as you put it. She was close to the legal age and in other parts of Europe would have already passed the legal age which is very relevant both in real terms and in the eyes of the law. Being very in love with Jeremy she also was obviously personally ready for ‘a relationship’. Not all 15 year olds would have been, but she was. I have a 15 year old daughter whose opinion when I asked her about this case right at the beginning was that people were being very judgemental. Jeremy broke the law because he followed his heart, and he is following in the footsteps of a lot of other people who have done the same thing throughout history and suffered for it, some of whom went on to become heroes and household names. I’m not suggesting that Jeremy is going to become a hero (though probably he is to Megan) but he has been incredibly brave and dignified throughout all this, and has suffered the treatment of a violent criminal when actually he is a normal guy who got caught up in a difficult situation and had the courage to follow his heart. The law has completely over-reacted and his treatment seems more typical of a 3rd world dictatorship than 21st century Britain.

      Mary Strickland

      October 31, 2012 at 9:12 am

      • With the greatest respect Mary I fundamentally disagree with every point you raise in your note.  

        1.  Let’s clear the issue of age up.  Jeremy started having a relationship with her when she was only 14 years old.  Not 15, she was 14 years old.  He took her out of this country without her parents consent on an allegedly stollen passport when she was 15 but this started when she was 14.  Regardless at 15 she is still a child and still growing and maturing emotionally and mentally.  A 30 year old adult should not be taking advantage and encouraging the hormonal development and changes that affect teenagers at that age.

        2. Your point on mitigating circumstances that “he genuinely fell in love and this effectively impacted his judgement”. I am dearly in love and have been with my other half for many years.  Been in love has not affected my ability to make intelligent, rational decisions and I am fully aware of what is right, wrong, legal and illegal.  Love and making stupid decisions is no excuse for his behaviour.  He made a conscious decision to do what he did.  It wasn’t spur  of the moment, he planned it. Yes you are right, we can’t blame him for falling in love but he had other choices and options.  He has not been brave or dignified, far from it.  He is no martyr, he has acted in a cowardly manor and totally undignified by sneaking out of the country with a child and hiding out.  A more brave and honourable choice would have been for him to:- a) leave his wife and get a divorce, b) resign his post at her school and find another position, c) speak to her parents about how he felt and wait for her to turn of age before commencing the relationship.  Yes that would have been difficult but if he truly loved her he would have waited and acted in a more mature and proper manor. The only people that have been brave and dignified have been his wife (kept a dignified silence), her parents and his parents.

        3. He ran aware because he was about to be suspended and would be separated from Megan.  Well if he had made the right choices then this would not have been an issue.  And as for the legal age of consent in other countries, this irrelevant we live in the UK.  So what, do we reduce our age of consent to something more in line with the Spanish age of consent which is 13 years old?

        4. The legal system has over reacted and it’s more in line with a third world dictatorship than 21st  century Britain.  How do you justify that comment? What has our legal system done that makes us act like a dictatorship or 3rd world country?  You think using all our resources to find a missing child makes our legal system a dictatorship?  What about her parents/family who didn’t know where she was, how she was and/or whether they would ever see her again because of his actions.  What about their feelings?

        Tracy

        October 31, 2012 at 8:40 pm

      • The relationship may have started at 14, but either way it was something that Megan wanted, and those who saw the couple in France have all said that she looked much older, so Jeremy did not fall in love with a girl who either looked or behaved like a child. Many teenage girls of Megan’s age have relationships with teenage boys and nobody is shocked. The issue here seems to be not even that Jeremy was 30, but that he was her teacher. But there is nothing to suggest that he ‘took advantage of her’. Megan had a mind of her own — she wanted a relationship with him and she loved him.
        The kind of heady, passionate love conducted in secret cannot be compared to the love experience of a long term, stable relationship, so I don’t think you can compare the decision-makiing abilities of people in those very different situations. Jeremy and Megan had both mentioned running away just once, as far as I know, on Twitter, but the messages were very ‘throwaway’ and what actually happened seems rather to have been a direct result of his being suspended,which would support it being an impetuous reaction to that. I don’t see why you think he hasn’t been brave and dignified. He was most unjustly portrayed as ‘dangerous’ in some way from the very beginning by Police and her parents who knew very well that he wasn’t dangerous and that he was her boyfriend and that they loved each other, yet persistently emphasised Megan’s ‘safety’ in a very cynical way which gave out a negative impression of him being unstable or worse. He was obviously baffled by this as the only quote from him that I have heard since this happened was right at the beginning after his arrest when he said something like, ‘How could I hurt Megan? I love her.’
        But the villification has unfortunately not stopped there, with a bunch of morally bankrupt journalists being mostly to blame.Nobody has tried to make him into a martyr — so I’m not sure why you mention that, and your choice of words regarding him ‘sneaking out of the country’ is typical of the sort of language that tries to turn a romantic bid for freedom into something sinister and dishonest. He is no coward, because it took a lot of courage to turn his back on the establishment and all the security he had. Most people wouldn’t be brave enough to do it, even under pressure.
        I’m sure that given time he would have got a divorce, and he would have found another job, but all this blew up before he had the chance. As for speaking to her parents about it, I don’t think that’s realistic,as he would obviously have feared with good reason that they would make waves and get him suspended. Obviously he needed his job to live, so that isn’t something he could have risked.
        When I referred to the State as acting like a dictatorship in this I was referring to the gross ‘iron fist’ overreaction in terms of treating him like a dangerous criminal when he’s a normal guy who acted irresponsibly when under a lot of pressure. He is not remotely dangerous, yet he has been thrown into prison, led around in handcuffs, had shamefully false accusations levelled at him and is still in prison now, without his side of the story even having been heard. Megan is doubtless devastated by what has happened to him and much as he has suffered, she has a very different type of misery to bear in that she is constantly portrayed as the innocent victim which is the last thing she wants (ref: my earlier post about the poster she put on the internet last week). Also, because of her age, the law disregards her opinions and doesn’t give her a ‘voice’ which must be very difficult for her to deal with, especially with some people being very vocally negative about the man she loves..
        Lastly, her parents were very anxious to portray her as an innocent victim but her mother had already previously confiscated her phone, so things were obviously not as straightforward as the public was led to believe.They also knew from the beginning that she was with the man she was in love with so I think I rather go with the line of Peter Reynolds who described their stance as ‘incontinent displays of emotion’ which in my opinion were designed to cover up Megan’s role (and possibly their own shortcomings) at the expense of Jeremy. Unfortunately these tactics were eminently successful in the short term, but hopefully not in the long term as the whole story will come out in court.

        Mary Strickland

        November 1, 2012 at 12:42 am

  27. Again I disagree with you.  Firstly any adult having a relationship with a 14 year old child should face serious legal consequences regardless of whether the child consented.  As I noted above, people in support of this very inappropriate situation have stated (as you do)she knew what she was doing and dressed like an adult…  This does not justify what he did.  Yes many teenage girls dress like much older women and it’s all sanctioned by parents and today’s society.  The accepted sexualisation of our young people and expectations that they grow in to adults before their time is a different debate.  The reality of the situation is that even if they dress/flirt with older men/women and see themselves as older, they are still young girls/children (in her case – under the UK’s legal age of consent).  Anyone under 18 is a child and (without meaning to sound condescending to teenagers)young people don’t like this because they generally want to be seen as adults and they fantasize about been in adult relationships (all of which would be inappropriate, teacher/not teacher).  These fantasies are all a part of growing up.   She may have been the most mature 15 year old on this planet but most teenagers rely on a parent/adult to fund their lifestyles, provide emotional support during vulnerable times and support them make important life decisions.  They are not yet mature enough or have the life experience to be able to make these decisions alone and under inappropriate cases such as this, it’s the adults responsibility to ensure that they can make those difficult decisions and allow the child to grow/develop and enjoy their teenage years (with other teenagers) without been expected to grow up too quickly.
    Therefore, I do not accept your argument  that “she looked much older, so Jeremy did not fall in love with a girl who either looked or behaved like a child”, (in addition to my comments above) because ultimately as her teacher he was fully aware of her age.  I would be more accepting of this argument if he had not been her teacher and didn’t know her age but even then once he found out the only decent thing for him to have done is end the relationship and wait till she was of age.  With regards the “heady, passionate love conducted in secret etc.” .  I am sorry but it still doesn’t make it right.  A married man or woman having an affair is wrong and in this case made worse by the fact he was doing it with a child.  Heady, passionate love doesn’t mean you all of a sudden lose your brain and become incapable of making rational decisions.  Particularly when you are as well educated as he is! I still stand by my comment that he has acted in a cowardly and undignified way.  He had plenty of time prior to potentially been suspended to resign his position as a teacher, find alternative employment, separate from his wife, speak to her parents and plain/simply do the right thing.  Instead he choose to take a child out of this country without her parents’ consent.  The CPS must act according the full extent of the law otherwise they will be sending a message that it is alright for any adult in this country to take a child out of the country without parental consent as long as they say “It was love”. 
    On a different note, could I ask on what basis you surmise that her parents knew of the relationship or that he was her boyfriend prior to him sneaking out of the country?  And on a personal note if I were in their position I would have had serious concerns that my child had been groomed and then taken out of the country by someone I had placed trust in whilst they were at school.  They were clearly concerned for her safety and they wanted their child back at home.  An adult they had trusted to look after the best interests of their child at school had been conducting an inappropriate relationship with a 14 year old and had taken her out of the country (and from his own actions/statements), we now know he had no intentions of bringing her back for a long time.  If he had managed to stay on the run, her parents would have lived with not knowing where their child was or even if she was alive.  He was fully aware of this.  What kind of supposedly good person would put a family through such torment and pain?  I find it difficult to believe he was unaware of the consequences of his actions.
    With regards my comment that his no martyr, this was relating to your commenting stating  “Jeremy broke the law because he followed his heart, and his is following in the footsteps of a lot of other people who have done the same thing throughout history and suffered for it, some of whom went to become heroes and household names.”  Well I am sorry but his no martyr.
    This is no Romeo and Juliet love story.  This is an adult and worst of all in a position of trust having a relationship with a 14 year old child.  I am interested in your view, at what age does this sort of behavior by an adult/teacher become abhorrent to you?
    From my layman’s view his best defense will be that Megan went willingly.  I have no issue with this lowering his sentence, but it does not and cannot result in the CPS acting leniently.  I strongly defend UK law stating that someone other than a child’s parents taking a child out of the country without parental consent is illegal, morally reprehensible and completely unacceptable.  I support the view that it is time to let the public see clearly that teachers (or other adults particularly in a position of trust) under no circumstances should be allowed to get involved with children/students.  The first thing an adult in this position should do when they have designs on a child is resign and then wait until the child is of legal age.  It is the task of the courts to determine his guilt/conduct.  If (as it seems clear to me) he acted illegally/improperly I hope the legal system acts ruthlessly.  It is time for adults (particularly in a position of trust) to start to understand what the consequences are when they abuse the trust that is handed to them in good faith.
    She is a child and she has little life experience to allow her to understand the consequences of her actions.  He is a 30 year old well educated adult and fully aware of his responsibilities (particularly as a teacher) and it was in his power to stop this and at the very least to do the right thing.  Wait till she was of age, get divorced and resign his position as a teacher.

    Tracy

    November 2, 2012 at 10:50 am

    • The fact that Megan apparently looks and behaves much older than she is was cited as one of many mitigating circumstances in this case, not as something which justifies it.
      Yes, teenagers need parental guidance, financial support, etc, but they also make decisions on their own, and Megan made one when she decided that she wanted a relationship with Jeremy.
      Yes, it would have been better if he’d resigned, waited, etc but as far as resigning goes, he needed to live, and who knows what other teaching opportunities were available to him? Changing your job is easier said than done. As for waiting, I think they did try to end it but were both already very involved by then.and it obviously didn’t happen.
      Regarding what Megan’s parent’s knew, we know her mother had confiscated her phone because Megan wrote to a friend on Twitter to tell her not to text her because her mother had confiscated her phone. Her parents knew about the relationship beforehand because in the week prior to their disappearance Megan’s phone was confiscated by the police as part of the school’s investigation into the relationship.
      Like ‘sneaking’ your use of the word groomed is absolutely not applicable in this case and completely distorts the truth. In Megan’s case, it didn’t happen. I also find your hope that the law treats him ‘ruthlessly’ as vindictive and besides that, quite the most damaging thing possible for Megan.
      Forget Romeo and Juliet — whatever way you look at this story, it is definitely a love story.
      At what age do I find this sort of thing abhorrent? When it is something that one of them, doesn’t want.
      I say ‘one of them’, because these cases also happen the other way round. I have known a girl teacher who fell in love with a 15 year old boy and he left home as soon as he was 16 in order to be with her. They had a long term relationship and last time I saw them they had a baby. Hopefully they are still together.
      Actually, Jeremy is not charged with having a relationship with Megan, only with taking her abroad without her parent’s consent,(abduction) so as far as I can see, the rights and wrongs of their relationship won’t be relevant to his case in a legal sense.

      Mary Strickland

      November 2, 2012 at 1:55 pm

      • I agree. From what I know of the case, the suggestion that she was ‘groomed’ is utterly ridiculous. Two people fell in love, and the police involvement in the case was purely due to the facts that a) he was her teacher and in a position of trust (relatively new in law) and b) because she happened to be a few months off her 16th birthday. Had she been 16 and had he not been her teacher we wouldn’t even be aware of the relationship.

        The word ‘groomed’ was used by the media in order to sensationalise the story and holds no basis of truth whatsoever. Her parents were (understandably) worried because she had failed to contact them to tell them she was safe, and their concern would be normal in any situtation where a familiy member has ‘disappeared’ without informing anyone of their whereabouts and that they were safe and well.

        I have a lot of sympathy for Jeremy and feel in many ways HE is the vulnerable one in this because he has been demonised where she has been portrayed as an innocent victim. When the case comes to court the facts surrounding what actually happened may surprise a lot of people, for example she may have pleaded with him to take her abroad and there maybe other factors we are so far unaware of. I’m sure that the way the media reported it will bear little resemblence to the actual facts.

        Jane Sanders

        November 2, 2012 at 2:52 pm

      • Jane, she was 14 years old when he started the relationship. 14 years old. It’s just wrong.

        Tracy

        November 3, 2012 at 5:09 am

  28. The reality is as children/teenagers grow they will become infatuated by an adult (teacher, family friend, musician or actor ect.).  This is usually a phase and in the real world those adults that know the kids would not encourage these hormonal feelings which are part and parcel of growing up.  They do the right think by ensuring the children understand that it will not progress. That is exactly how he should have behaved.  I am just as disturbed to hear about the female teacher and 15/16 year old boy.  My position on her is the same as my position on him.  That boy should have been completing his education and not living in an adult relationship.  A child having a child!

    With regards the current situation, if he loved her as much as you say.  He would have done anything to ensure a proper future. Putting the issue of him waiting till she was of age/getting divorced aside for the moment.  Leaving his position and finding alternative employment would not have been that difficult. He could have done all of that before commencing the relationship.  

    On the end the relationship issue.  How do you know he tried to end it? Also with regards her parents knowing of the relationship/confiscation of the phone  – this is all Internet based conjecture, rumours and hearsay.   Some this has been published by the same red top papers you so clearly believe have whipped up some sort of storm around this issue.  I may be wrong but from my understanding the only comment her parents made clearly stated they had not been made aware of this situation by the school and/or police.

    Just so I am clear when you state that you would only be abhorrent to this sort of situation if “one of the party doesn’t want it”, are you saying you would be fine with a similar situation if the teacher/adult was 27 years old and the child was 12 years old as long as they both stated they were in love? 

    I want the law to make it clear this sort of behaviour is totally unacceptable and against the law.  So I am not been vindictive but I want adults and teachers to be fully aware of the consequences.  I want to be confident when my child is in school that every teacher in that school does what they are paid to do.  Teach and not think its alright for them to the blurr the boundaries and have inappropriate relationships with children in their care.  I want my child to enjoy her teenage years as a teenager.  So yes if found guilty I do want the judge to be ruthless and send a clear message.

    He is charged with child abduction and according to the law as it stands and I may be wrong….  Taking a child out of the country without parental consent is a crime and punishable with a lengthy custodial sentence.  

    Tracy

    November 2, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    • The difference between infatuation and love is a very grey area. Where does one begin and the other end? There is nothing to say that a teenager is not capable of being in love.
      You ask how I know he tried to end the relationship. I don’t know for sure but one of Jeremy’s songs talks of trying to end it, and as his songs pretty well document the whole thing I think they probably did try.
      The fact that her mother confiscated the phone is not internet hearsay but recorded Twitter conversation. It is also fact that the Police confiscated Megan’s phone in the days before they ran away. Her parents must have been aware at that point.
      I’m not going to be dragged into a debate about exactly what age is and isn’t acceptable for a consensual relationship, but we have to assume that if the child is too young then they are not going to consent.
      People are people,not robots, so it is useless to talk about controlling the classroom without ‘blurring the boundaries’. The sort of classroom you are talking about brings to life Chris Wilson’s futuristic Monty Python ideas. (Thanks, Chris, for those.)
      I think any British judge or the justice system as a whole would be highly embarrassed if any of its sentences were said to be ‘ruthless’ and they certainly wouldn’t regard it as a compliment, as you seem to suggest.. Rather they would prefer that their sentences were ‘measured’, ‘humane’ ‘fair’ etc.

      Mary Strickland

      November 2, 2012 at 8:03 pm

      • Teenagers are capable of infatuations and falling in love my point is as the adult he was mature enough to know it was wrong and should have removed himself from that situation.  If he hadn’t encouraged it she would have soon got over it and moved onto the next infatuation.  

        Considering your view on the press, I am very surprised that you seem to come to you conclusions regarding “ending the relationship, her mother confiscating her phone and/ the child’s own feelings (poster she allegedly uploaded online etc)” based on twitter’ the Internet generally  and your interpretation of his music.  Isn’t this exactly how some of the red tops “The Sun, Mirror, Daily Mail etc.” came to the majority of their conclusions but they just sliced their versions differently.  We could all do the same…  I could surmise (based on similar  internet information and his own music) that her parents should have been extremely concerned because when you listen to his music and read about his parents concerns for his mental health he is potentially a very dangerous mentally ill individual who has fantasies of strangling his own wife (based on his own musical lyrics).  We can all slice the online information to say whatever we believe.  In this situation it comes down to three things for me: 

        1. A grown man having a relationship with a child. Outside “loco parentis”.  Wrong on so many other levels. As I once read and found amusingly accurate in my view “Lord knows it can’t be easy for Forrest, with his high IQ, his 32k-a-year starting salary, to spend all his time with his nose in Urbandictionary, looking up what “trap” is so that he can “get on a level” with his GF”

        2. Loco Parentis!

        3. Taking a child out of the country without parental consent.  Wrong, just old wrong however you slice it.

        Yes people are not robots but adults are fully capable of controlling their behaviour regardless of how in love they are.  And if they can’t they can remove themselves from the situation. 

        Having spoken to a barrister friend, her view is if the CPS argue the case well and taking into account any mitigating circumstances, if found guilty she would expect a case like this to end with an 18 month to 2 year custodial sentence.  I work in a corporate environment and I am no legal expert but I want my child protected. I want anyone in a position of responsibility to fully understand the consequences if they follows his path

        Tracy

        November 3, 2012 at 4:44 am

      • I don’t know why you assume that Megan would just have just ‘moved on’ to the next ‘infatuation’
        if Jeremy had walked away from this. It seems to negate the fact that teenagers can genuinely fall in love, which of course they can.
        Your depiction of Jeremy as a ‘potentially very dangerous mentally ill individual’ would be laughable if it wasn’t so sad. Chris Wilson has only just presented us with his Monty Python classroom of ‘making falling in love a mental health issue worthy of incarceration’ and that is what you are advocating
        The part of your email which talks about urban dictionary, trap and GF I didn’t understand, I’m afraid.
        And actually I believe that it has been scientifically proved that people in love are not necessarily capable of controlling their behaviour.
        Furthermore, as Chris Wilson has pointed out, it does seem that there is far more to this case than we are currently aware of, so how you can be wishing to heap more suffering on him (and consequently on her, too) without even having heard what he has to say, absolutely defeats me.

        Mary Strickland

        November 3, 2012 at 8:50 am

      • Mary. I think you need to read my note again because I believe you missed my point. I wasn’t saying he is ‘potentially very dangerous mentally ill individual’.  And the fact you don’t understand my reference to the urban dictionary, trap and GF clearly demonstrates the cultural difference between adults and teenagers

        Tracy

        November 3, 2012 at 9:31 am

  29. OK you want me to get ridiculous , well if some of you can , i can, because so much of all this is just getting ridiculous– it brings Monty python out of me .

    I am still following this thread , but still have the same dilemma , the polarisation of opinion . Mary Strickland’s comments seem to have “thrown petrol at some wasps ” , but everything she is saying is not the polar opposite of the most angered comments by those that simply cannot find anything but annoyance and horror at Jeremy Forrest’s actions . Mary’s comments amongst others are infact the intelligent but sensitive middle ground as far as I am able to ascertain . I am actually quite fascinated to read a lot of the comments that have no sympathy for Jeremy , they seem to be showing such vehemence that I can only assume there may be other reasons why people want to write in this way . Could it be because some people can never be genuinely connected to other people showing love for one another . Is it because we still have a hidden agenda etched into our psychological framework that sees every relationship between a man and a much younger woman as unethical and predatory. Is it because we all think our children are “at risk” unless we have some draconian laws that assume all teachers will “try it on” with students. Sorry , this is all getting to be so far beyond hysteria , Ok Ok ,enter Monty Python as a government —why not encourage the government to make everyone under the age of 20 or 30 or perhaps 40 !!! a child , let no male be a teacher unless they have been castrated ,insist that all female teachers wear a burka , let all relationships be illegal unless officially sanctioned by just one denomination of the Christian church in holy matrimony , make any eye contact between students and teachers an abuse , do the same for conversations . better still don’t have teachers at all , make every lesson delivery occur online — so children learn every damn thing from a laptop , or maybe dispense with schools altogether , make everyone learn everything by distance learning ,with just a “nanny” overseeing everything ,make “falling in love” a mental health issue worthy of incarceration . LOOK , human beings will always want to interact . 99.9% of the time 99.9% of teachers will not be interested in any relationship with anyone that they teach . BUT there will be times when a genuine love match occurs ,very very rarely ,I know that Jeremy will be so self admonishing right now , he will have wished that he had not gone to France with Megan , but why oh why when the pertinent facts have not yet been explored does everyone simply read the law as it is , why did the media have such insidious ways of reporting this issue so that the public reacted with utter horror . So many people keep making statements that simply echo what we all know to be the case with the UK law , people keep on doing this like parrots on dope , for goodness sake — is it the case that everyone secretly enjoys reading about some poor male teacher whose love for one of his students got the better of him and we know what happened , was everyone just waiting for a case like this to happen , isn’t it all so predictable ?, what will everyone think next ,that Jeremy is another Jimmy Saville , would that have everyone rubbing their hands in glee ?– I bloody well hope not . What will the next month bring to entertain the public ,more government scandals , more resignations , it goes on and on . To me it seems that the media just serve to keep us “entertained” with the lowest form of news they can find . Ok Monty Python is leaving the building now , if people could just step back a bit from this and look at the whole picture, not with any desire to either admonish someone like Jeremy , or to build an unrealistic picture of him , they will see that he actually had to have a load of courage to face his feelings for Megan , it all went wrong for him and her , because the situation was such that they panicked and fled the country . I totally agree with everyone that he should have resigned his post as a teacher , waited till she was older , approached the parents etc ,but do you think they did not know all this ???? There must be more to all this to explain why they did what they did . I heard recently from one source that Megan is now in care ,I don’t know if this is true ,but if it is ,what does that indicate ? Please , please in the name of humanity wish them well , there is so much pain in this , if people must comment and argue the toss , please try to get things into proportion, the title of Peter Reynolds piece ” Hysterical PC nonsense about a young couple in love” needs to be digested I think .

    Chris Wilson

    November 2, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    • Chris. There is no need to be facetious.  I am looking at this as a loving mother of a 14 year old daughter.  In some ways she acts more like a 21 year old woman but in the main she is still a child.  And as a mother and considering that could have been my daughter makes me feel no sympathy for him.  My thoughts have nothing to do with the media because let me make it clear I don’t, and have never read the red tops.  My view on this is exactly that my view as the mother of a 14 year old teenager.  

      I have no sympathy for a 30 year old man in a position of responsibility that should have known better.

      Tracy

      November 2, 2012 at 6:53 pm

      • Yes of course Tracy , and my “facetiousness” can come across as downright cruel and as though i don’t see the facts ,and want to make excuses, I apologise to anyone feeding into this thread if I offend . I do see what has happened Tracy , and I think that all of the people that have contributed here have valid points raised — of course I understand how a parent must feel ,especially if you are a mother of a teenage girl , anyone would have concerns regarding their daughter getting too attached to ,and then running off with one of their teachers on a jaunt to France . What I think I relate to with comments from Mary and Jane particularly is that whilst it is essential to protect the young within the legal system , it is also the case that a genuine example of love can occur ,one that could have long lasting potential , and this may appall you as you would see your own daughter in a protective light , and this is absolutely as it should be , but it is a possibility , and I just wish that the way this was handled was better . What I do think is that we have to look at why exactly this happened , there may be facts we are unaware of at this time . I don’t like the idea that the British public simply regard this man as an abuser and or abductor and or a paedophile . he has broken the UK law for sure , but the way the media played this to the public was to use terminology and language that stirred so much hate , they do this all the time Tracy with anything that they feel they could enrage the public opinion with, it keeps people watching the news . I do feel pity for everyone connected with this situation , and if the affection between Jeremy and Megan is genuine and long lasting then when all of this is over, maybe they can start an adult relationship without all of this affecting them, as by that time Megan will be much older. I doubt whether this could happen now . On a personal note I would not wish anyone harm in any relationship , no matter what their situation entails ,but i would never support an adult who was trying to engage with a child , that is so against my protective feelings. What must be so worrying for a mother is whether their own children could get involved in something like this , but this is where I would suggest that there needs to be more knowledge of why Megan felt the need to just go off with Jeremy , despite their affection she may end up “moving on” as she matures a little , but I can see that Jeremy did not act with direct maliciousness , I do feel he was very very stupid to go about this in the way he did, and he must have known that it would result in the type of action against him that has taken place . I don’t believe he was any threat to her physically at all . I am not a father myself , but there are people in my life that I consider as “my children” , and I care for them as a natural parent would . I just wish that Jeremy had looked at this in a long term way and not rushed into this rash state , his life experience should have helped in this , but it may be the case that he was also suffering from some form of depression within his marriage and within his work life etc . It’s not excuses that I am trying to find Tracy, it’s reasons ,honestly ,I can see all points of view , if this man could be shown to have had a history of some sort where he had tried this before ,(and there are cases where teachers have engaged with under age girls for the purpose of sexual contact) , I would certainly have no feelings of sympathy for him . I just think he will be suffering a great deal right now , apparently he can’t even contact his own family . Tracy, in each country the law is the law , we all know that and we have to respect those laws ,and it is hard to make a threshold for when adult relationships are legal , as some adults can be less mature in their relationships than teenagers , but in general a teenager has not had enough life experience to guage where they are headed . However , there are some issues which cannot just be black and white ,in my opinion anyway , and this is why the law operates in a way that requires all evidence to be considered . It has been interesting to read all of the commentaries , and to close I hope everyone develops a clear understanding from this thread , it will probably provoke a lot from people , but that is a good thing . I grew up in a climate in this country where I witnessed injustice . I remember the last hanging in Britain , it was in my home town , I was just a young child then . Through all the years everyone believed this man was guilty , just recently it has come to light that he was infact innocent . I also remember a case of a teenage girl declaring her love for a man in his 70’s , and we had numerous debates about this at school , it disgusted most of us , but for me all I could suggest to my classmates was that if it was a case of sincere love and they both made each other happy, despite the probable short lived aspect ,then for me I could actually accept this , although it was hard for me to do this . I am pointing these issues out as my own tolerance has been developed by what I have experienced . I can also remember with utter disgust a teacher at my school who preyed on boys , he inevitably got caught and imprisoned , but not till he had terrorised so many impressionable boys at my school . I don’t think that Jeremy fits into this scenario , he will face the UK legal system , and he will be held responsible for what has happened , and any teachers out there that have half a mind to start something with a schoolgirl will think again . I would be glad about that Tracy , but likewise if he is made to suffer beyond what is acceptable for a crime of this type then he would be “used” to deter others , and that is not fair as far as I can see , although many people would say to me that is the price which must be paid . The Guardian ( I think ) ran an article recently on a schoolgirl / teacher relationship that has now lasted for 24 years , the couple got married and after all these years still adore each other and have 4 grown up children . So my own perspective is –whilst we all have to protect the young , there can be cases of real enduring love , if I had a teenage daughter that started a relationship with one of her teachers and didn’t keep me in the loop , I would seriously wonder why she couldn’t open up to me , and I would be horrified . Likewise if I had a 19 year old daughter that wanted more than anything to get together with a much much older man ,despite the legality , I would be very very concerned, but providing I could sense that their feelings were genuine ,and had been proven to be so over a considerable period of time , I don’t think I would try to stop them in their journey . I hope that this doesn’t offend anyone . I think I will leave this thread now , I have ranted and raved enough !! — with good wishes everyone who has contributed Chris

        Chris Wilson

        November 2, 2012 at 11:06 pm

  30. I just left a huge reply , and then accidentally deleted the whole thing ! so I will summarise it .Tracy , I may sound facetious but of course I don’t mean to offend anyone , it may seem downright callous that I can get into a sort of parody mode . It’s just that I think we don’t yet know all of the facts concerning this case , they will emerge in time . The way the media like to operate is to use terminology and language that infers distaste in everyone . I am not a father myself, but do have people that I consider to be “my kids” even though they are adults now , and I care for them as a natural father would . As a mother you must be enraged to think that a young teenage girl could get involved with a teacher at her school in this way ,and that the school that she attended did little to support and acknowledge this , and of course you will feel that Jeremy has really acted totally irresponsibly , and he has Tracy . Your own motherly instincts will come to the fore here , you wouldn’t want your own daughter to go through something like this , who would ?

    But things are not always black and white . I just wish that this had been handled differently , Jeremy must have known that it would all end this way , and that would indicate to me that he must have been in some form of depressed state , probably with his marriage and also his work , I am not trying to find excuses , I am trying to find reasons . It is a horrible situation for his partner / wife to have to deal with, and for both sets of parents. I think that if this was a case of a real enduring love (starting off with little consideration for the families concerned) , then only time will tell . Megan may just outgrow this ,which let’s be honest is the most likely scenario . Jeremy is wrecked right now, of that I am sure , and although he will face the UK legal system in time , I would not like him to be used as an example to dissuade teachers who might be considering starting a relationship with a schoolgirl . I can’t think of any situation that I would detest more . There have been known cases of teachers who have abused schoolgirls , and it is utterly repugnant to all of us , but this case must be seen differently I think .

    I grew up seeing a lot of injustice Tracy, I remember as a young child a particular day when the last UK hanging took place , it was in my home town , and for years everyone assumed this man was guilty , and recently it has been shown that he was actually innocent . I also remember a case of a teenage girl claiming love for a man in his late 60’s and she wanted to be with him , this appalled most of my peers at school , but even then I felt that despite the prospect of a short lived relationship , if this was sincere then we should just accept this very unusual pairing . One of the teachers in my school preyed on young boys , he was a truly vile man , and we were terrified of him , he inevitably got caught and imprisoned , but not before he had abused literally hundreds of teenage boys . I point this issues out as i need to show where my tolerance levels have been developed over the years .

    If I was a father Tracy and I had a young teenage daughter that started an affair with one of her school teachers ,and I was not “in the loop” I would have to ask myself why she did not feel she could open up to me , and of course I would be horrified . If I had a 19 year old daughter that wanted to be with a much older man , despite the legalities ,I would be very very worried for her, but if they could show that their affections were proven over a considerable time , I think I would not try to invade their future journey . That may really offend some people , I am not saying this to provoke reactions . The Guardian ( I think ) ran an article recently on a couple that had the teacher / student starting point , this was a couple that got married then had 4 children and are still together after 24 years of marriage . I cannot look at this and say they had no right to their relationship , they still adore each other.

    The case we are all commenting on I think is a case of the heart ruling the head , and the consequences are different in todays UK than they would have been 20 years ago , so my quote about the couple mentioned in the last paragraph must be seen in that light . I don’t think that Jeremy presented a physical threat to Megan , I really don’t ,she is technically a child in the UK law yes , he knew this , and it did not stop him from going to the continent with her . She cannot be held in any way responsible due to her underage situation . On a moral level they are probably both equally responsible , but the morality is offset due to her age . The law is the law , and the thresholds for adult relationships has been set , we all know this and we must stay within the law , we also know that many “adult” relationships show less maturity than teenage relationships . In the main though, a teenager has less life experience and won’t be able to deal with the relationship dynamics as well as an adult . It is this that makes people see the predatory side . Yet a part of me sees that this was a desperate attempt to declare an innocent love , by running away together , they were telling everyone just how much they felt for each other , and no doubt they both regret this very deeply . It is bound to provoke many opinions , but to convince me that Jeremy is some sort of child abuser , or paedophile i would need to be shown that he had prior experience in this area . He didn’t , he was simply foolish in the extreme . I will close now and stop contributing to this thread , i have had my chance to rant and rave ! I wish all those that have contributed to this thread clarity and perception . Chris

    Chris Wilson

    November 3, 2012 at 12:12 am

    • Chris.  Thank you for your considered view of why I am so outraged by this situation.  I greatly appreciate it.  I do understand where you are coming from and respect your view.  I guess there are simply some aspects of the case/how it should dealt with we have differing views on. I do agree the media  can behave like a pack. I am sure the majority of people are aware of this and hopefully take it with a pinch of salt.   Thank you again.

      Tracy

      November 3, 2012 at 8:45 am

  31. Sally Bercow is under fire for naming ‘a certain person’ on Twitter http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2235398/Sally-Bercow-sparks-new-Twitter-row-breaching-court-order-banning-naming-runaway-schoolgirl.html Apparently there is a banning order which prevents publication of her name. I can’t see the point since everyone knows her name anyway!

    Jane Sanders

    November 20, 2012 at 7:43 am


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