A family was fined after taking their children out of school – to travel to their murdered uncle’s funeral.

Dad-of-three Craig Fowler planned a 9,000-mile round trip to attend the funeral after his brother was shot 15 times in Jamaica.

But when he asked to take his two daughters, Shaniya, ten, and Shenae, six, away with him, he claims their headteacher refused.

And the family were devastated when they returned to a £240 fine from the council.

Craig blasted South Norwood Academy for its "inhumane" handling of the situation.

His brother Algie Ellis, 28, was murdered in January but the funeral was not held until March because of a delay with the autopsy.

Craig said: “The autopsy took a long time because of the murder rate out there – it’s extremely high.

“It took us until March 18 before we could hold the funeral.

“We had no money, my gran paid my fare, my auntie paid for my wife and the kids and there was money that was borrowed that we’re still paying now.

“My dad gave us spending money out there because he lives in America.”

“About three weeks into it all I went up to the headteacher and said, ‘sir, you know what’s going to happen and the time has come, we’re going to have to leave on March 4. Unfortunately because everything’s up in the air the kids are going to be gone about three weeks’.

“He said, ‘wow, you can’t get three weeks off, I won’t confirm it’.

“I said there’s nothing you can do about it, I have got to take the kids. We have never been apart.

“We went, we came back and I received a notice from the council that we were fined.”

Craig, who is disabled because of a spinal injury, said it was important he travelled with his family because his wife, Nicola, 33, is his carer.

He uses a mobility scooter and his communication was also affected by the disability.

He added: “The headteacher said the kids should have just gone to Jamaica for one week and your wife should have come back with the kids and left me there.

“I said how can I come back home? I’m vulnerable.

“I paid the fine but I just think it’s not fair because it’s not humane, it can’t be human to think like that, to think that somebody’s family does not matter.”

A Croydon Council spokesperson said: “The decision to not authorise leave during term time was taken by the headteacher of the academy and not the council.

“The school referred the case to Croydon Council following a period of unauthorised absence and the penalty noticed was issued in line with our code of conduct.”

The school has been approached for a comment.