Cat muck blamed for girls missing class

File shot of a cat, not involved in the case
File shot of a cat, not involved in the case
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Two sisters failed to attend school – because of their cat, the court was told.

The girls, aged six and nine, found the cat mess outside their bedroom door when they woke in the morning.

They would not go past it and that was the excuse for not attending classes when their father, 32-year-old Gareth Beresford appeared before Blackpool magistrates.

Beresford, of Clare Street, South Shore, admitted two offencesof knowingly failing to ensure his childrens’ attended at Thames Primary School.

It was the third time Beresford has been convicted of the same offence.

Suzanne Holroyd, prosecuting for Blackpool Council, said the girls’ attendance records were scrutinised by the educational welfare officer.

Both had unauthorised absences which reduced their attendance to 85 and 86 percent.

A meeting was held with their father followed up by phone calls to Beresford.

Ms Holroyd said: “Mr Beresford said that when the girls visited their mother in Preston she would bring them back late.

“Then he said that the family cat had defecated outside the girls’ bedroom door and they could not get past it.

“Then he said they did not attend school because the roof of their flat had been raining in.”

Chairman of the bench Janet Boccacio asked Beresford what time he got up each morning and he said between 8 and 9am normally.

She told him: “You should try getting up earlier and make sure to get your daughters to school rather than give these apologies.

“Their education is important.”

Beresford said: “I will try harder.

“I will try and get up earlier.”

Beresford was placed on a weekend curfew from 9pm to 7 am.