Page last updated at 15:49 GMT, Thursday, 27 November 2008

Mother misses 11th truant hearing

Linda Davison at Durham Magistrates Court
Davison had been warned she might be sent to prison

A mother from County Durham has been fined for not making her son go to school, despite failing to appear in court for the 11th successive time.

Linda Davison, from Chester-le-Street, blamed ill health for her failure to turn up to court on Thursday. She was fined 165 and told to pay 200 costs.

Davison, 41, had admitted failing to send her 13-year-old son to school.

She had previously been warned by Consett magistrates that a prison sentence was being considered.

'Last resort'

Maureen Clare from Durham County Council's Children and Young People's Services department said: "The needs of the child are paramount.

"Their future life chances can be seriously damaged by missing large amounts of time at school.

"Court action is absolutely the last resort after all other measures have failed, we are legally required to prosecute, and will do so under certain circumstances.

"It does work with most cases and it does act as a deterrent."

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