MAGISTRATES have jailed a mother who failed to send her children to school.

Christine Davison was led from Consett Magistrates’ Court to the cells in handcuffs to start a six-week prison sentence yesterday.

The 40-year-old, of Third Avenue, Chester-le-Street, County Durham, could have been jailed for up to three months.

It is understood she will serve half of her sentence and be out in three weeks, during which time her children will be looked after by relatives.

She was previously convicted in her absence of failing to send daughter Sarah, 16, who should have been studying for her GCSEs, and son Jason, 15, to Roseberry Sports and Community College, in Chester-le-Street.

Caroline Sinclair, prosecuting for Durham County Council, said: “We would like to emphasise the non-compliance of Miss Davison and the offers of help that have been made in this case.”

Sarah attended the equivalent of one day a week, while Jason did not attend at all, from December 12 to May 23.

Seventeen visits to the family home were made and several meetings were arranged, but Davison failed to show up.

Reporting restrictions banning the identity of the children were lifted after a successful challenge was made by The Northern Echo.

Mitigating, Suzanne Hanson said: “This is a woman who fully accepts the benefits of education for her children, but is unable to ensure that they attend school.

“It is an inability rather than an unwillingness on her behalf.

“She has no idea how to deal with them.

“The elder child has now left the education system, and she tries to get her son up for school but he refuses to go.

“She has never been in custody before and has no convictions, other than the prosecutions brought by the education authority.”

The court heard she had been convicted of the offence twice previously, and was the subject of a community order when the offences were carried out.

Magistrates rejected pleas to impose a 12-month parenting order or suspending a prison sentence.

Jailing her, chairman of the bench Gary Walker said: “We have looked at the history of offending. Previous orders have had no effect.

“We feel that only a custodial sentence is appropriate.”