Kerry Katona accused of failing to send her child to school

Kerry Katona will stand trial accused of failing to send her child to school.

The former Atomic Kitten singer was warned she could be convicted in her absence and imprisoned when she failed to attend a court hearing last month.

At Brighton Magistrates' Court on Wednesday Katona, of Crowborough, East Sussex, attended and was accused of failing to send one of her five children to school between April and November last year.

The child cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Dressed in a light brown poncho style fur-lined coat and turtle neck jumper, the 38-year-old stood in the dock to confirm her name, age and address before entering her plea and said: "Not guilty."

The court heard Katona will represent herself at trial.

Ramon Pape, defending, and Katona objected after members of the press challenged the reporting restriction in the case which would prevent Ms Katona from being named as the defendant attending court and the charge she was facing.

She said her child's attendance at school was a "private matter" while Mr Pape said the publicity would have an adverse effect on Katona.

But magistrates ruled she could be identified as the defendant in the case and amended the order so the media could report this.

Last month the court heard that Katona wrote to the court asking for an adjournment because she was taking part in a "paid event" in Scotland.

Prosecutor Gareth Jones, representing East Sussex County Council, said he did not object to the adjournment as long as it was as short as possible but warned it was an offence which could result in prison.

The case was adjourned until May 8 at the same court for trial.