Criminal record warning for mother who tried to take ill son on holiday
PUBLISHED: 18:58 04 August 2014 | UPDATED: 18:58 04 August 2014
A MOTHER was warned she could face a fine and a criminal record if she took her seriously ill son on holiday, because his circumstances are not 'extraordinary'.
Maxinne Ingrouille-Kidd hoped to take her 13-year-old son Curtis on a cruise in term-time but was stunned when his school refused to grant permission.
She told the Mercury this week she was ‘shocked’ and ‘in disbelief’ to be told she could be fined up to £1,000.
Curtis is registered blind, suffers from quadriplegic cerebral palsy and daily seizures. He also has a complex form of epilepsy, called Lennox Gastaut syndrome.
Doctors told Curtis’ parents that his life expectancy is 14-19 years.
Curtis cannot talk but Mrs Ingrouille-Kidd said he responds to familiar voices by smiling and turning his head.
With Curtis’ ‘life-limiting’ condition, the family wanted to enjoy every available second they could together and planned an autumn cruise.
They wanted go away over the October half-term but because the ship did not have a cabin suitable for Curtis available, the dates had to be switched.
The school told her the request did not meet the necessary criteria to allow Curtis to miss nine days during term-time.
Mrs Ingrouille-Kidd, who lives in Wedmore, ‘panicked’ when she was contacted by the school.
She said: “I was shocked when I read the letter.
“I agree that some people take their children out habitually and it isn’t beneficial but you can’t always get holiday in term time.
“We have not been threatened but were advised in the letters that we could potentially face a fine and possibly a criminal record.”
Mrs Ingrouille-Kidd, who did not want to name the school because of the support they have given the family over the years, added: “Curtis will never be able to have a career of any sort let alone one that is dependent on a good education.
“Apparently we could have put Curtis into a hospice for the duration and go on our cruise without him, but not for one minute did we consider not taking him with us.
“We would not have gone on a family holiday, which includes my two older sons, Hadyn and Kaine, my daughter-in-law Victoria, and my granddaughter Erin, without our beloved Curtis.”
Somerset County Council has since confirmed the family will not be fined for taking Curtis out of school for the holiday.
Mrs Ingrouille-Kidd added: “There is some relief there will definitely not be a fine or conviction. However we are still upset that it goes down as unauthorised absence.”