A mother has been sent to prison after her 15-year-old son skipped school for a year.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was sentenced to two months behind bars after her son missed 12 months of lessons.

She is the second parent from Brighton and Hove to be jailed for a child's truancy and was arrested at her home when she failed to attend Brighton Magistrates Court following her conviction.

Magistrates heard the boy had failed to turn up to a single lesson in the current academic year.

Between February and July last year he attended one lesson in four.

The woman was convicted on October 7, 2003. Warrants for her arrest had since been issued on five separate occasions.

She was finally arrested at her home last week and remanded in custody by the court until a hearing on Saturday.

The woman was also sentenced to seven days' prison for bail offences.

Pat Hawkes, head of children, family and schools on Brighton and Hove City Council, denied prison was a draconian step.

She said: "I know how serious the background of this case is.

"The parent was not taking this seriously.

"It is quite tragic it has come to this but it's even more tragic for the child.

"I hope something can be done and the mother will take schooling seriously because it is the child's future which is in jeopardy."

The first Brighton and Hove case was in December 2002, when a mother was given a seven-day sentence.

A city council spokesman said: "This is all about the welfare of the children and giving them a chance in life.

"In all cases our education welfare officers try to work with families to get children back to school without recourse to legal process.

"We have done everything possible to avoid this situation but the defendant's complete disregard for the assistance being offered meant there was no other option available to us.

"We have worked very hard with the police to resolve this situation.

"Prosecution is the last resort and proceedings are not taken lightly."