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Local authority defends decision to prosecute parents

The decision to prosecute a couple who took their children on holiday to Australia during term time has been defended by the local authority.

Our schools follow the guidance set down by the Department for Education in trying to maintain good levels of attendance.

Schools decide whether to authorise leave based on whether they think there are exceptional circumstances.

Penalty notices are issued by the council at the request of schools for various reasons including where the school has felt there were no exceptional circumstances to justify absence.

– Coventry City Council statement

Read: Criminal record for parents who took children on holiday during term time

Criminal records for term-time holiday couple 'damaging'

A court decision to hand a couple criminal records for taking their children on holiday during term time has "done a lot of damage to the family", an MP has told ITV News.

John Hemming MP, who heads the group Parents Want a Say which campaigns against rules preventing parents from taking their children on holiday during term time, said the parents "may have to end up accepting this unjust decision" because of financial limitations.

John Hemming MP heads the group Parents Want a Say. Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

He said: "It is sad that the courts take the view that a parent doing the best they can for their children in difficult circumstances is guilty of a criminal offence even though the parents got a conditional discharge.

"This case has done a lot of damage to that family and the costs of arguing in court have ended up as prohibitive.

"The difficulty for the mother is that she probably cannot take the financial risk of taking this case to judicial review and may have to end up accepting this unjust decision merely because of the financial limitations.

"The secrecy applied to this case does not to me seem to be justified and seems to be driven by a desire to keep the publicity to a minimum. I will be speaking further to the mother in the days to come."

Read: Criminal record for parents who took children on holiday during term time


Wheelchair-bound Frostie the goat has died

Frostie the goat was fitted with a harness and set of wheel to help use his hind legs. Credit: Edgar's Mission

Frostie the Snowgoat, who was fitted with his own tiny wheelcart to help him walk, has died.

Little Frostie, who was living at an animal rescue sanctuary called Edgar’s Mission in Australia, had departed from his wheelchair when he fell ill on Monday but died shortly after.

Frostie died at the animal rescue sanctuary in Australia. Credit: Edgar's Mission

The animal sanctuary fitted him out with a harness and set of wheels after contracting a disease called joint navel ill shortly after he was born.

"For such a tiny goat, who only danced on this earth for a short while, his reach has been enormous.

"As the little guy made his last gasps of breath he looked into my tear-filled eyes as I begged him to stay. I told him I loved him and would do so forever more," Pam Ahern wrote in a blog.

Read: Frostie the baby snowgoat walks for first time thanks to new set of wheels

British woman dies after fall in central Australia

A 23-year-old British woman has died after falling nearly 100ft in Kings Canyon, in central Australia. The woman was believed to have been with a tour group when she fell at the beauty spot, which is in Watarrka National Park in Australia's Northern Territory.

A spokesman for Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services said police were investigating the death.


'Huge growth of illicit and illegal tobacco' in Australia

Australia has seen a "huge growth of illicit and illegal tobacco" since plain cigarette packaging was introduced, a retail expert told Good Morning Britain.

Jeff Rogut, from the Australasian Association of Convenience Stores said there had been a "dramatic shift" towards cheaper brands as well as customers choosing to buy illegal cigarettes, which could contain more toxins than regular ones.

Crocodile 'snatches father from boat in front of family'

A crocodile.
The dead crocodile thought responsible measured 15ft 5in (stock image). Credit: Reuters

A massive crocodile is thought to have snatched and eaten a man from his boat in a popular national park in Australia.

Human remains were found inside a large saltwater crocodile after a search was conducted for a missing 62-year-old man at Kakadu National Park on Saturday.

Local broadcaster ABC reports that the man's wife, son and daughter-in-law were with him at the time of the attack.

The crocodile, measuring more than 15 feet in length, was one of two that were shot around a mile from the point the man is thought to have been attacked.

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