Prosecution dropped in school absence case
Today Liberty announced that Essex County Council has dropped its prosecution of James and Dana Haymore for failing to ensure their son “regularly attended school” on the basis of six days’ absence.
The couple, originally from the US, were refused permission to take their son out of primary school for a family reunion in America to commemorate Mrs Haymore’s grandfather. They were issued with penalty notices by the Council, but refused to pay on principle. They were then prosecuted for an offence which could result in a £1,000 fine and a criminal record.
Liberty, representing the Haymores, argued that – among other things – the decision to prosecute them breached the Human Rights Act, because it affected their and their children’s right to a family life under Article 8. The trial was due to begin on 10 October. Despite moving back to the US, the couple were prepared to travel to the UK to clear their name. But today the Council revealed the prosecution has been dropped.
To read the whole article please click here.
Taken from John Hemming’s Blog
Monday, September 08, 2014
James and Dana Haymore prosecution – council drops case
I am pleased to be able to say that the prosecution against the Haymores has been dropped by Essex County Council.
Although the council is relating this to them going to the USA, they did this in July a few days after the plea hearing. In fact they faced substantial costs in fighting the case merely to travel back to the UK.
I wonder if this outbreak of common sense on behalf of the council arises because of the first Not Guilty finding relating to Kerry Capper on Friday.
It remains, however, that the rules need to change. However, this is a clear success for the Parents Want a Say Campaign Group.
Here is Dana Haymore’s statement:
“We are so happy with the decision the County Council has made to drop the case. We feel it is the right decision. No parent should have criminal charges brought against them for doing what is in the best interest of their children. Parents’ roles are to know and love their families individually, better than any government does collectively, and make the best choices for them. We are so grateful to those at Liberty, Parents Want A Say, and John Hemming for all their support! They have been incredible advocates for our family, and we hope this is a step towards helping establish family rights. “
Obviously what Dana said adds to my comment earlier today about the way parents are being treated more generally.
Liberty also deserve thanks for the effort their pro-bono legal advisors put in on the case.