Four Wigan mums who didn’t prevent their children’s truanting have all been found guilty in their absence by magistrates – after bunking off court themselves.
Michelle Atherton, Kerry Kellett, Stephanie Rigby and Tracy Swarbrick were all due to appear at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court this week accused of failing to ensure that their children regularly turned up for class.
But none of the quartet - who are not known to each other and whose children attend different primary and secondary schools in the area – appeared for their respective hearings.
After hearing the available evidence and discussing the cases, the bench found them all guilty of the offences in their absence.
Atherton, of Prestt Grove, Worsley Mesnes; Kellett, of Ludlow Drive, Leigh; Rigby, of Cornwall Drive, Hindley; and Swarbrick, of Kendal Road, Hindley, were each hit with a bill for £350 comprising a £200 fine, £100 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.
The parents of another truanting child appeared in court that same day to admit to their own failure to ensure their daughter attended school regularly.
But because the defendants had kept their appointments with justice and pleaded guilty, Raymond Eckersley, 39, and Joan Green, 33, of Devonshire Road, Atherton, were only fined £60 each for the offences.
With court costs and a victims surcharge added to the penalties, their bill came only to £210.