Couple miss court date over child’s school attendance

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A HUSBAND and wife failed to show up at court as magistrates heard about their daughter’s poor school attendance.

Magistrates in Peterlee ruled that Barbara and Paul Doherty failed to make sure their 12-year-old daughter, Mary-Beth, attended school.

Justices heard that the Sedgefield Community College pupil only attended 110 out of 162 sessions at the school, in Hawthorn Road, Sedgefield, between September 6 last year and February 2 this year.

Jacqueline Brooks, prosecuting on behalf of Durham County Council’s education service, said this equated to 67.9 per cent attendance and 52 unauthorised absences.

She added that no medical evidence had been provided for any of the absences.

The court heard that several attempts to discuss the poor attendance had been made with the Dohertys, including letters and home visits, but no-one was at home.

When the couple failed to pay a fixed penalty regarding the absences, the case was sent to court.

Justices at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court proved the case in the couple’s absence.

The case was adjourned until March 29, so that Barbara Doherty, 37, and Paul Doherty, 43, of Eden Drive, Sedgefield, can attend court.

If they fail to attend on that date, magistrates warned a warrant will be issued for their arrest.