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Mother of sex offender compensated for unfair dismissal

A teaching assistant who was sacked because she wanted to remain in contact with her sex offender son has been awarded £28,000 in compensation for unfair dismissal.

Tracy Hodgkinson’s son was jailed in May 2010 for sexual offences with a girl under 14. He was 18 at the time.

Ms Hodgkinson says she was dismissed in January last year because she told the school, where she’d worked for 10 years, that she did not want to sever ties with her son. He was her only remaining child as she had lost her daughter to cancer.

The Employment Tribunal ruled that she had been unfairly dismissed.

A school spokesman said they were disappointed with the decision and added that their priority was the safety of the children in their care.

Ms Hodgkinson said she brought the case to show how unfairly she had been treated. She told the Ipswich Star newspaper: "I couldn’t abandon my son; he’s the only child I have left. Me having contact with my son, who has paid for what he did, posed no risk to the children.

"They tried to make me pay for his crimes. I feel I can draw a line under it all now. I am very saddened by what has happened, but glad that I stood up and fought for what I believed in."

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