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Married British teacher Jeremy Forrest was on Thursday found guilty of abducting a 15-year-old schoolgirl after they fled together to France.
A jury found 30-year-old Forrest guilty over the September episode in which the pair spent seven days on the run, sparking an international manhunt.
The prosecution had labelled the mathematics teacher a "paedophile" who had "groomed" the vulnerable teenager after the pair met at a school in southeast England.
Their sexual relationship began shortly after the pupil's 15th birthday, Lewes Crown Court heard, with regular trysts in his car, in hotels and at the home he shared with his wife.
The two fled Britain on a cross-Channel ferry to Calais in France when they feared the affair was about to be exposed, leading police to launch a high-profile international search.
Police apprehended them a week later as Forrest was trying to seek work in France.
As the jury returned to deliver its verdict Thursday after a two-week trial, Forrest told the girl "I love you".
She burst into tears as the guilty verdict was announced, and told him "I'm sorry" as he was led away to the cells.
Forrest's defence lawyer had argued he felt he had to run away with the girl because he feared she would commit suicide.