SEVEN Thurrock parents appeared before magistrates at Basildon on Wednesday (11 January) for failing to ensure their children attended school regularly.
Fines, costs and victim surcharges totalling £2,825 were imposed on the seven who all now have a criminal record.
In cases where the parent failed to attend court the matter was allowed to proceed in the defendant’s absence.
Cllr James Halden, Thurrock Council’s portfolio holder for education, said: “The education of children who do not attend school regularly suffers to a great degree.
“Taking parents to court is a last resort, but it is something the council has to do if we care about the young people and their futures.
“Thurrock Council works closely with schools and parents to encourage regular attendance, but if all else fails, we must back up our efforts with criminal proceedings.
“Yes, these people now have a criminal record.”
Among the cases were:
Mother who attended court pleaded guilty to the offence she was charged with and was fined £40, ordered to pay costs of £120 with a £30 victim surcharge.
A mother was fined £220 with costs of £447 and a surcharge of £30. The case was proved in her absence.
Two parents of a child who failed to attend school regularly did not appear in court and the case was proved in their absence. Each was fined £220, ordered to pay £233.50 in costs with victim surcharges of £30.
The mother of another child was fined £220, with costs of £391, and a £30 victim surcharge after the case against her was proved in her absence.
A mother who admitted the offence in court received a 12 month conditional discharge and was ordered to pay £150 in costs and a £20 victim surcharge.
And finally, another mother who attended court to admit the offence received a one year conditional discharge, was ordered to pay £150 in costs and a £30 victim surcharge.