LET ME make this clear, Jeremy Forrest is a deluded fool who prayed on the affection of a student, abused a position of trust and thought everything would be OK.
But a paedophile? No, that is very dangerous talk from the Crown Prosecution Service who were desperate to secure a conviction for this high profile case.
Did Forrest have lewd images on his phone/camera/computer? No
Did Forrest have previous convictions/cautions for indecency against a minor? No
It's clear from the comments of the girl today that she loves him and the 'affair' was two ways, she was attracted to him, he to her.
Many teenage girls I went to school with fancied one teacher or another, but then again us lads fancied one particular teacher as well, I will spare her any mention but I think she knew!.
In a position of authority and with the criminal checks done on all aspiring teachers, Forrest should have known that no good would ever come from beginning a relationship with a then 14 year old.
Whatever his feelings, he ought to have closed the matter down immediately and if necessary spoken to the headteacher to make him aware of the issue.
The defence said he was a 'good teacher who succumbed to temptation' – sorry, Forrest was the
responsible one here, he should have known better.
Another issue was the fact he is married! Surely a man of Forrest's seeming intellect could have computed what he was doing was wrong on any number of levels?
The girl clearly responded to Forrest and may have led him into the relationship – this is not the story of evil teacher luring a pupil for sex.
It is a love story, girl fancies boy and hope their 'love' will overcome the social and legal difficulties it created.
Clearly from hearing the evidence, Forrest was a very popular teacher who connected with his students on a number of levels and inspired them to achieve.
There is nothing wrong with a teacher blogging, befriending his pupils, chatting to them outside class – it's when it goes to the next level that problems arise.
That has been blown to bits now, he will never hold a teaching post again, the girl and her family will be whispered about for years to come.
Love is supposed to conquer all, but as this case shows, it can be a pretty destructive weapon as well.