A mum who invoiced a five-year-old boy's parents for failing to attend her son's birthday party has defended herself on Facebook.
Julie Lawrence justified her actions to bill Derek Nash and Tanya Walsh for £15.95 after their son Alex didn't turn up for the party at a ski slope in Plymouth.
The story made national headlines yesterday (Monday), dividing people over whether Julie was right to pop the invoice into Alex's primary school bag – and whether the boy's parents were rude not to show up for the party in the first place.
Dad Derek, from Torpoint, Devon, explained that Alex was keen to attend and so had accepted the invite. However, just before the day of the party, Derek and Tanya realised that the bash coincided with a day out with Alex's grandparents.
Now the story has notched up a level after the emergence of a Facebook exchange between the two mums.
Here is their full Facebook conversation.
Hi Julie. This is Alex's mum. I don't know what has happened between you and my partner, Derek. I was very shocked to see the invoice in Alex's school bag. I did not realise that you had to pay for each child, as you never mentioned anything about money when we spoke. The only reason Alex did not attend the party was because his nan and grandad were going away for christmas and the only day the kids could go see them was on the same day as the party. I did not know this. On the day Alex decided that he wanted to spend time with his nan and grandad. I apologise for not letting you know, but I did not have a phone number or an e-mail for you to let you know the situation(I also didn't know your first name, or I would have looked you up). If I had known that I would have to pay if Alex did not go, then I would have paid you the money, no problem. I do not like fighting with people, and would prefer to settle this amicably.
Hi Tanya, I didn't mention the money when we spoke because it was a child's party, it doesn't matter if you have to pay per person or for a group if people agree to going, I confirmed that with all parents on the Thursday before the party that they were going as I had to pay that day, and Derek told me Alex was looking forward to it and would see us there, to me that is confirmation. My phone number was on the invitation that was sent out to Alex. I don't like fighting with people either, and was not best impressed when Derek turned up on my doorstep, and said you won't get any money out of me, rather rudely, I do admit it rattled me. This is not the first time Alex has not turned up to a party that he has been invited to, either. the amicable way round this I believe would be to pay me the money and let a lesson be learnt, I hope this is agreeable? Julie
Hi Julie, whose party is Alex supposed to have gone to? I did speak to another mum about a party but she never got back to me with details, other than that I don't recall any other confirmed invites. The only reason Derek was angry was because of the fact that the envelope was put into Alex's school bag, when it has nothing to do with the school. He spoke to the headteacher about and she said that it's against school policy to do that kind of thing. Birthday invites are fine, but not personal items. Like I said before, no money was mentioned when we spoke, and I feel it would be inappropriate to pay you the money, when I don't know what it's actually paying for. Alex was very excited to go to the party. I didn't know until the day about his nan and grandad, and he decided he would rather spend the day with them. Like I said before I didn't have your number to let you know. And exactly what lesson would I be learning. I am not a child, so please do not speak to me like I am one. So, to answer your question, unfortunately no. This is not agreeable.
You are paying for 1 x child's party at the ski slope including snow tubing and tobogganing and lunch, to with you said Alex was attending on the Thursday.
Just so you know, small claims court cost £60 just to start a claim. Also I'm not paying for something we didn't use.
It doesn't cost that much.
It does. Also I don't think the school are very happy with you involving them in this either. I don't know why you are out for our blood and slandering us. I've told you the reasons why Alex didn't go. I also told you why I couldn't call. You also don't seem to understand that I never ran away from you. I didn't hear you calling after me. I have to get to my daughter at carbeile. So if they let Alex out last then I have to rush a bit because evie, my 2 year old, walks slow. So maybe that's why you thought I was rushing off. I had no reason to run to run away from you. So please do not state things as truth when you do not have all the facts. Maybe if you actually spoke to me rather than making your own mind up about what happened then none of this would be happening right now. If you had come up to us the first day back and explained about the money, then I could have explained about alex, then maybe we could have sorted something out. Instead you send an invoice.
More on Parentdish
Birthday party invitations: should parents be fined for no-shows?
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW PARENTS
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements. Learn more