Norwich dad told he owes £1,000 because son missed school six years ago
PUBLISHED: 11:47 17 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:44 18 November 2018
A father-of-four from Norwich was told he owed £1,000 because his son missed school six years ago.
Craig Bishop received a fixed penalty notice for the absence in 2012, but claimed he was only made aware of it in September this year when bailiffs came knocking at his door.
The 44-year-old was told he owed about £1,100 for the unpaid penalty notice and costs associated with a speeding offence from 2015.
But at Norwich Magistrates’ Court on Friday he said had no knowledge of the legal proceedings that resulted in the fines.
Mr Bishop, who works as a courier, said he had been living in South East Asia in 2012 following the death of his father and breakdown of his marriage.
He said during that period his son, who is now 21, was living with his ex-partner.
“I didn’t live with my son at the time,” Mr Bishop said. “And so I don’t know how I would be responsible for him going to school.”
“The only time I knew about these proceedings was when the bailiffs knocked on my door.”
District judge Nick Watson advised Mr Bishop to explain his circumstances to Norfolk County Council regarding his son’s absence. But he said the case would have to come back to court.
Mr Watson told Mr Bishop he was also fined £600 in his absence in 2015 for failing to provide the details of a driver relating to an offence in Lowestoft on April 3 that year.
“That cost would have been made because the vehicle would have been found going through a speed camera,” Mr Watson said.
He said the court would have assumed Mr Bishop’s income in reaching the £600 figure.
Mr Bishop, of Stuart Road, said if he had received the summons to court, he would have pleaded guilty. However, he said he had no recollection of being in Lowestoft around that date.
Mr Watson, who lowered Mr Bishop’s fine to £200, said: “I accept had you received the court summons you would have come to court.”
Mr Bishop, who previously worked as a builder, said on his return to the UK he lived at various addresses.
Speaking outside court he claimed he was never notified about any court summons or fine relating to his son’s absence or the driving offence.
“It’s ludicrous”, he said. “It’s something I didn’t even know about.”