Couple given jail threat

A WICKHAM Market couple were warned they could face prison if they continue to fail to send their teenage boy to school.It the second time the couple – who cannot be named for legal reasons – before South East Suffolk Magistrates Court for denying their son an education.

A WICKHAM Market couple were warned they could face prison if they continue to fail to send their teenage boy to school.

It the second time the couple – who cannot be named for legal reasons – before South East Suffolk Magistrates Court for denying their son an education.

They were today paying a heavy price for their son bunking school as they were each fined £400 and ordered to pay a further £50 costs each – causing a total loss to the family of £900.

Elizabeth Mahoney, assistant education officer, said the boy is in his GCSE year but between March 18 and July 12 did not attend any of the 136 school sessions. Each session is a half-day.


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None of the absences were authorised by the school.

Contact was made with the parents to discuss their son's absence and on June 13 this year they received a final warning that the authority would take legal action if the boy did not attend.

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"That was last term," said Ms Mahoney. "This term (the boy) still has failed to attend school." She described him as an able boy who should be taking his GCSE's next year.

The youth's father – who together with his wife admitted failing to send his son to school – said he had tried to get him there but needed outside help.

"If I have got to force him to school I have virtually got to give up my job," he told magistrates sitting in Ipswich.

"In my opinion it should be (my son) before the court, not me. I have tried to get him to school. I would love him to go to school but we are at a stalemate situation.

Sentencing the pair, bench chairman Mark Wade, told them: "It is a joint responsibility that you have to get (your son) up and out and to school each and every school day.

"If you come to court on a third occasion magistrates on that occasion will be considering custody."

The last time the pair were sentenced was on August 6 last year when the father was fined £220 with £25 costs and the mother was ordered to pay £25 costs.

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