Mother jailed for truant girls loses her bail plea

A mother jailed for 60 days for allowing her children to play truant from school failed to win her freedom yesterday when a judge refused her request for bail.

Patricia Amos, 43, will now remain in jail at least until her appeal on Wednesday. Mrs Amos was jailed a week ago at Banbury magistrates' court for failing to ensure her children Emma, 15, and Jackie, 13, attended Banbury Comprehensive School.

Judge Peter Crawford QC refused the bail application after a private hearing at Oxford Crown Court, saying he did not want to prejudge the appeal. Amos, from Banbury, Oxfordshire, who has five children, remained at Holloway prison during the hearing. She is believed to be the first parent jailed under new powers introduced in 2000.

Stephen Warrington, her solicitor, said: "I'm not surprised by the decision. Obviously Mrs Amos will be disappointed and has to remain in custody for a further week. She will be anxious and hopeful that next week she will get out and be with her family again."

Since their mother was jailed, Emma and Jackie have been staying with their sister Kerry Cowman, 25.

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