By CHRIS BROOKE, The Dailymail Show of devotion: Rachel and Mick Edson in 2002 They claimed their marriage would prove the cynics wrong. A teacher and his 15-year-old pupil could fall in love, have children and live happily ever after, they insisted. But after five years of marriage Mick and Rachel Edson - who sparked a national police hunt by going on the run in 1998 - have separated. Last night, Rachel, now 24 and a mother of four, said the split was amicable and that her husband had moved out of the family home. "We still get on and remain friends but we have separated," she said. "It has not gone as far as divorce and there are no plans for that." The split ends a love story which began with scandal and provoked debate over the ethics of teacher pupil relations. Their illicit relationship began when Rachel began babysitting for Mr Edson, her then 31-year-old chemistry teacher. They kept the affair secret for six months until word reached the headmaster at Wyke Manor School in Bradford. Fearing they were about to be exposed, the pair fled to London, where they spent four days before handing themselves over to police. Officers had been alerted by Rachel's worried parents. The couple, shown here in 1999, began their affair when Rachel, then 15, started babysitting for Mick, then her chemistry teacher aged 31 School days: Rachel in her uniform Mr Edson was charged with abduction and indecent assault. At his trial, in 1999, Rachel insisted they had not had sex and that she was waiting until she was old enough. She told the court she loved her teacher, was standing by him and spoke about eloping to Gretna Green to marry. The evidence was decisive and the jury at Bradford Crown Court found Mr Edson not guilty of both charges on the orders of the judge. Despite his acquittal, his teaching career was over. Rachel's relationship with her parents was also on the rocks but, somehow, the couple's relationship survived the turmoil. They moved in together and married at a register office in April 2002 - eight months after Rachel gave birth to their first child. They have four children aged between two and six who live in Scholes near Cleckheaton in West Yorkshire. Mr Edson, now 40, switched careers and found work as a quality controller for a chemical company, while Rachel has been working as a childminder. Over the years they have given a number of interviews in which they declared their devotion to each other and spoken about their 'true love'. Mr Edson said in one interview: "From where I'm sat now, I couldn't imagine doing things differently. "If things had taken a different course then something else might have happened and we might not be together now. .. The split has been 'amicable' Rachel, shown here with Mick on their wedding day, said "We probably feel more strongly for each other now than ever." Rachel said: "I wouldn't have done anything differently. It meant problems but we always loved each other and wanted to be together." Speaking to the Daily Mail after their wedding, Mr Edson, who has a teenage daughter from a previous relationship, admitted he had done wrong. "I can't escape the fact that Rachel was 15 when we met and a pupil of mine," he said. "Obviously it would have been better if we hadn't been found out - but we were always going to get married, no matter what. "I knew from the start that she was the one for me. "It wasn't some fling - I was in love with her. I knew I could lose my job over her but it was a risk worth taking." Mr Edson was unavailable for comment last night.