Megan Stammers: school at centre of another grooming case

Sep 26, 2012

Police admit maths teacher Jeremy Forrest and schoolgirl Stammers could be 'anywhere in Europe'

A TEACHER who worked at the school of missing teenager Megan Stammers was jailed for grooming two young girls for sex three years ago, it has emerged.

Stammers, 15, is believed to be on the run in Europe with her maths teacher, 30-year-old Jeremy Forrest, after disappearing last Thursday – but it has emerged that this is not the first teacher-pupil relationship at Bishop Bell CofE School in Eastbourne.

In February 2009, supply teacher Robert Healy, then aged 27, was jailed for seven years after admitting he groomed two pupils aged 15 and 16.

Healy admitted having sex three times with the younger girl between October and December 2007 and seven times with the older girl between February and April 2008. Lewes Crown Court heard how Healy had groomed both girls on the social networking site Bebo. In a case that echoes that of Forrest and Stammers, staff had received informal warnings about Healy's inappropriate relationships with the girls.

Earlier this year it also emerged that a retired priest had been allowed to remain a governor at Bishop Bell for more than a year after child sex allegations against him came to light. Canon Gordon Rideout, 73, was charged in June with 38 sexual offences against children and young teenagers dating back to the 1960s and 1970s.

Parents at the school last night demanded an inquiry into its child protection procedures, reports the Daily Mail, and child abuse campaigners have called for the head teacher's resignation.

Meanwhile, French police have admitted that Stammers and Forrest could now be "anywhere in Europe". CCTV images of the runaway couple were released yesterday by police, showing them aboard a Dover to Calais ferry last Thursday. One still taken from the camera footage shows Forrest with his arm around the teenager, while another shows the pair walking hand in hand.

The brother of one of Stammers's friends has claimed that police seized her phone before she ran away. The 15-year-old apparently asked to borrow the friend's phone, saying that police had taken her own, reports The Daily Telegraph.

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