A single mum who appeared in court over her children's truancy blamed their absence from class on poltergeists.

The 29-year-old claimed paranormal activity meant she was repeatedly unable to take her eight-year-old daughter and six-year-old son to school.

She said her council-owned home in Swindon, Wilts., was overrun with ghosts that kept her children awake at night and disturbed her morning routine.

Swindon Magistrates' Court heard that she even hired priests and mediums to exorcise the property.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was given a six-month supervision and ordered to pay £300 costs after admitting the offences.

Simon Emslie, prosecuting, said the offences took place between January and March last year.

Sambreen Arif, defending, said she had raised the paranormal activities with the school and was hoping to move.

He added: "She was trying to make her children go to school, but she accepts responsibility."

Chairman of the bench Felicity Beard told her: "This is, as you now know, very serious. It's very important children go to school for all sorts of reasons."